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UN Climate Conference Puts Clean Energy ETFs in the Spotlight


As the United Nations convene to promote a universal climate agreement, investors can capitalize on the growing awareness in going green through clean energy sector exchange traded funds.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated that “the world is ready” for climate action to help promote a healthy environment, along with security, energy, economic and governance reasons, according to the United Nations News Centre.

“We must clarify finance that enables the entire world to move towards low-carbon development,” Figueres said. “We must launch the construction of a mechanism that helps vulnerable populations to respond to the unanticipated effects of climate change.”

The UN Climate Panel recently amended its CO2 emissions estimates since 1870 to 515 billion metric tons, or 515 gigatons, from 531 gigatons, reports Alex Morales for Bloomberg. The figure provide countries with less or more leeway to emit in the future.

Maria van der Hoeven, International Energy Agency Executive Director, believes the world requires emissions, renewables and energy-efficiency targets as industries diminish their dependency on fossil fuels, Bloomberg reports.

“It’s practically impossible to exclude one of them,” she said in the Bloomberg article. “You can see in China the same thing, where there is a fairly strong policy on renewables, CO2 pricing and they are working on energy efficiency. Sometimes we have overlapping targets, but sometimes you need overlapping targets to see that you are developing into a stable situation.”

As the effects of climate change grow more pressing, industries have popped up, catering toward the shift to clean energy. Investors who would like to gain exposure to the shift away from fossil fuels and into alternative energy sources can take a look at clean energy-related ETFs.

Broad clean energy ETFs include:

  • PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (PBW)
  • First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN)
  • PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD)
  • PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio (PBD)
  • Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX)
  • iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN)

Solar ETFs:

  • Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN)
  • Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT)

Wind ETFs:

  • First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund (NYSEArca: FAN)
  • PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio (NYSEArca:PWND)

For more information on the clean energy sector, visit our clean energy category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.