finweek

COVER STORY | Stocks protecting the planet and digital lifestyles

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Two things happened during the middle week of May that propelled the importance of a cleaner energy future even more onto centre stage. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, halted the ability to pay for his company’s products through cryptocurrency. Apparently, it uses a lot of energy. A second, less glamorous happening, though far more significant than the exclamations of a celebrity CEO, is the fact that companies are beginning to play along in decarbonising the planet: The price of a tonne of carbon rose higher than €50 for the first time. This is of fundamental importance.

Humans’ exploitation of earth is well documented. In a recent World Economic Forum report, it is summarised as follows: 32% of the planet’s forests are destroyed, 40% of invertebrate pollinators (such as bees) face extinction, land surface productivity (to produce food among others) shrunk by 23%, due to land degradation (such as erosion), and 50% percent of species face extinction by the end of the century – that is in 79 years’ time. Left unchecked, global warming will reach 4.1°C to 4.8°C above pre-industrial levels by 2099.

Ironically, the drive towards cleaner energy generation – and thus moving away from humans’ millennia-long reliance on carbon to generate heat – has increased the demand for certain minerals. These range from lithium (for making batteries), copper (as part of the alternators in wind turbines) and rhodium (included in the catalytic converters of automobiles to reduce noxious gasses) to nickel (also used in making batteries) and iridium (a hardening agent for platinum, which is also used in catalytic converters). One just needs to look at the share prices of the miners of these metals lately to see how the demand and supply dynamics of the mined minerals are playing out.

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Rand - Dollar
13.72
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.35
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.62
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.58
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,877.34
0.0%
Silver
27.92
0.0%
Palladium
2,779.00
0.0%
Platinum
1,151.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
72.69
+0.2%
Top 40
61,445
+0.3%
All Share
67,724
+0.3%
Resource 10
65,776
+1.1%
Industrial 25
87,620
+0.1%
Financial 15
13,639
-0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Have you noticed a difference in the voices of women compared to men in virtual meetings?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, there is a difference.
30% - 16 votes
No, I haven't noticed it.
59% - 32 votes
A bad internet connection worsens it.
11% - 6 votes
Vote