ESG Investing Alert: Why Methane is ‘Carbon Dioxide on Steroids’

Investors spend a lot of time on carbon dioxide emissions, but they are potentially ignoring a second and, also significant contributor to global warming – methane. While carbon is the leader in the planet warming stakes, methane packs a heavier punch.

Methane is responsible for 23% of the rise in temperatures since industrialisation began. Methane emissions must be addressed if planetary warming is to be kept in check. It is more than 80 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. SOURCE: Economist 04/2021

Human beings seem to be the largest contributor to the increase in methane gas in the atmosphere this century – agricultural activity and the fossil fuels industry seem to be at the forefront of this and yet both food security and energy security remain high on the agenda of all governments.

How can investors help in curbing methane emissions?

Wind and solar technology are lynchpins in the strategy to create more clean energy for the planet, but they do not address the ongoing build-up of methane emissions.

One solution is to harness methane into energy – reducing emissions created by agricultural waste and landfill by broadening the UK’s network of biogas plants. These facilities have the advantage of being able to process waste into both clean energy and fertilizer. They could be a very important building block in many countries’ carbon neutral strategies.

The UK is one of the most populous parts of Europe with a population of 67 million – projected to rise to 77 million by 2050. It has a legally binding commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. The UK needs a comprehensive strategy that will coordinate private and public finance into reducing methane emissions as well. SOURCE: The Guardian Newspaper

Prestige Funds has raised over USD 2 billion in the last 10 years and has channelled much of this through Privilege Finance, a specialist finance arranger, which has funded approximately 50 renewable infrastructure projects, many of which are biogas plants in the UK as well as contributing clean energy to more than one million UK homes.

In the process, Privilege Finance has also accumulated considerable in-house expertise around financing and operating biogas plants.

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