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Four Investment Strategies to Combat Climate Change

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Four Investment Strategies to Combat Climate Change

Featuring Professor Bruce M. Usher, in conversation with Financial Times contributor Sarah Murray

An investment strategy focused on managing climate risk is, by definition, a defensive strategy. But defensive does not always mean below-market returns.

Professor Bruce Usher, author of the new book Investing in the Era of Climate Change will discuss with Sarah Murray the pros and cons of four climate-friendly investment strategies:

  • Divestment of fossil fuel assets
  • ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing, especially for institutional investors, who have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ interests first
  • Impact-first investing which, by definition, tends to produce below-market returns
  • Thematic investing which, unlike ESG, finances primarily private companies

You won’t want to miss this talk – Usher’s book was named one of the "Top 10 Business & Economics" titles for fall by Publishers Weekly


About the Author:

Bruce M. Usher
Co-Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise;
Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director;
Professor of Professional Practice
Columbia Business School

Bruce Usher is a Professor of Professional Practice and the Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. The Tamer Center educates leaders to use business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and management tools to address social and environmental challenges, and has grown into one of the largest centers at Columbia Business School. Professor Usher teaches on the intersection of finance, social and environmental issues, and is a recipient of the Singhvi Prize for Scholarship in the Classroom, the Lear Award, and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Professor Usher is also a member of the Columbia Climate School faculty and on the Executive Committee of the Earth Institute. He chairs Columbia University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, advising the university trustees on ethical and social issues that arise in the management of investments in the university’s endowment. In 2016, Professor Usher established the Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students, providing an opportunity for refugees from anywhere in the world to complete their higher education. This scholarship program is now managed by the Columbia Global Centers.

In 2019, Professor Usher published Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century, the first in the Earth Institute’s sustainability series of books. His latest book, Investing in the Era of Climate Change (Columbia University Press), will be published fall 2022. Professor Usher has written numerous cases for use in business school courses, with a primary focus on climate change and business.

Prior to joining Columbia University, Professor Usher was CEO of EcoSecurities Group plc, which developed greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in developing countries. EcoSecurities completed an IPO in 2005 and was acquired by JPMorgan in 2009. He was previously the co-founder and CEO of TreasuryConnect, which provided electronic trading solutions to banks and was acquired in 2001. Prior to that, he worked in financial services for twelve years in New York and Tokyo. Professor Usher is an active investor and advisor to entrepreneurial ventures focused on climate change and clean energy, and is Chair of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. He earned an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.


Moderated by:
Sarah Murray 
Contributor, Financial Times

Sarah is a regular contributor for the Financial Times, where she has spent more than two decades exploring the relationship of business to society and the environment and, more recently, the role investors can play in helping solve complex global problems such as poverty and climate change. She also writes for Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Economist Group and others. Sarah developed the content for the FT Investing for Good conferences (now FT Moral Money Summits). She is editor of books on philanthropy and sustainable investing and author of two books, “Making an Exit: From the Magnificent to the Macabre, How We Dignify the Dead,” and “Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat.”



This event is co-organized by The Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.

September 20th, 2022 6:00 PM through  8:00 PM