Episode 36: GMO’s Lucas White

Climate Change, Energy and the Low Carbon Economy

Lucas White is the lead portfolio manager for the GMO Climate Change Strategy and a member of GMO’s Focused Equity team. Together with the firm’s co-founder Jeremy Grantham, Lucas has developed a strategy to invest in companies that are likely to profit from climate change mitigation and the transition to a low-carbon economy. In this episode, MarketFox columnist Daniel Grioli asks Lucas some pretty pointy questions around the viability of ESG-focused investment strategies.

GMO Lucas White podcast overview:

1:00 How did you get started in climate change strategies?
5:00 Jeremy Grantham’s research into resources and climate change
8:00 The issue with apply climate change risk models on portfolios
11:00 What is the right way to look at the carbon footprint of your portfolio?
15:00 If you are going to get rid of fossil fuels than you are putting a lot of burden on other materials: copper, cobalt, lithium.
20:00 Looking at the quality of data on climate change
21:30 Figuring out what business models fit the universe.
22:30 Although we believe that electric vehicles are going to take over our motorways, that doesn’t necessarily make us excited about Tesla or BYD. These companies are very expensive.
24:00 A better way to gain exposure to electric vehicles
32:00 Do GMO’s multi-asset funds allocate to the climate change fund?
35:00 Stranded assets: doesn’t it depend on when we stop using these assets?
38:00 Nuclear energy, is it more viable than renewable?

About the [i3] Podcast

The [i3] Podcast is a conversation with some of the leading institutional investors around the world, discussing their philosophy towards investing, in particular towards portfolio construction and investment strategy. The [i3] podcast is available on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or your favourite podcast platform.