3 ways to invest in climate change action on the ASX

If you've been wondering how to use your portfolio to go green in 2019, look no further than these 3 investment ideas.

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It's been a week of intense debate around the world following the worldwide climate change rallies and the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.

The images of an emotional Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager at the centre of the youth movement for climate action, has been shown countless times this week as part of the global action to demand action on the environment.

With this in mind, here are 3 very different ways that you can look to make an impact and invest in climate action before the end of the year.

  1. Invest in renewable energy companies

This is one of the most obvious ways to be part of the global movement, by giving more capital to the Aussie renewable energy companies to invest in more energy generation.

There are several options available on the ASX with my personal favourite being Infratil Energy Ltd (ASX: IFT) following a solid August earnings result and strong development pipeline locked in.

One indirect way to do this is to look at one of the several ethical investment funds available on the ASX such as BetaShares Australian Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX: FAIR) or BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX: ETHI).

Both of these funds seek to invest in companies working for the good of the environment and the world, meaning they could suit the right Fool's portfolio.

  1. Invest in the ASX banking sector

While many in the Aussie media have chastised the Aussie banks for their support of coal projects, the reality is that most ASX-listed companies are likely to have some level of interaction with at least one Aussie bank.

The Big Four banks including Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd (ASX: CBA) are clearly the biggest lenders, making them a prime target to purchase shares and encourage them to lend in line with your own views.

Another option would be to look at the regional banks such as Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) to boost spending on environmentally-friendly projects in rural Australia.

It's important to remember that the major banks have significant lending activities right across corporate Australia, meaning you can also be investing in renewable energy financing by purchasing shares in these Aussie banks.

  1. Invest in the Aussie coal miners

This may initially seem counterintuitive when looking to invest in climate action, but the reality is that by boycotting certain companies it can be harder to make change than by being a company owner.

Following the same logic, this is one big knock on "ethical investing" as it seeks to generally avoid purchasing companies that are perceived as 'bad' and invest in 'good' companies.

However, much of the change around corporate Australia is made possible by those that own the companies, as they seek to deliver better outcomes for themselves and align executive interests with their own through the election of the Board and sending a message at the AGM.

If you're passionate about climate action, arguably buying up shares of large Aussie coal miners such as New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC) is a viable path to making the change from the inside and being a positive influence in shaping the future here in Australia.

Foolish takeaway

Whatever your stance on climate change, the reality is that there are many ways to try and invest in ASX companies that align with your views.

Some would argue that emotional investing is a misallocation of capital and that you're best to invest in those companies that deliver the best outcomes and use your capital gains to promote good outside of the capital markets.

However you go about it, the reality is that your portfolio is completely yours and everyone can make their own decisions to invest in the best way they see possible!

Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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