Renewable Power Production Could Save Millions of Lives

Martin Wildy
October 4, 2018 | 3 min video

Air pollution is now the world’s largest environmental health risk. How does this play into our role as investors in providing capital to companies throughout the world? In this video, you’ll hear from Portfolio Manager Martin Wildy, CFA on why investing in renewable energy is so important to us at Eventide.

One of the reasons that renewable energy investing is so important to us, and it is a theme that we have really focused on is because of the potential impact it can have in many parts of the world.

Here are some headlines from the past year that I thought were particularly alarming:

"India's pollution today is as deadly as a black smog that covered Britain during the Industrial Revolution"

"New Delhi's gas chamber smog is so strong that United Airlines has stopped flying there"

"Breathing in Delhi air is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day"

These are some photographs just illustrating the amount of smog that is coming into Dehli. That’s on a sunny day. It's not just India, places like China. This is in Beijing. You can see the same billboard in just one day where the smog has really rolled through and the other, it has not. That's the Forbidden City, also in Beijing. It affects everybody, young and old alike. It has a huge detrimental impact on so many people.

So, how does this play into our role as investors in providing capital to companies? I think one of the important things, and this was a really surprising statistic to me when I first learned it, but pollution accounts for approximately 16% of all deaths worldwide, all premature deaths. That's more than three times the number of deaths from HIV and tuberculosis alone. It's also more than 15 times the number of deaths that are being caused from all interpersonal violence, including all wars. So just a really massive number of deaths, annually, being caused by pollution. If we look into pollution, and the primary drivers of these deaths, it is actually air pollution. You can see from this slide that air pollution, the trend over the last number of years has not been that we are seeing fewer deaths, it has been relatively stable and it's a much larger contributor to premature deaths than other forms of pollution. It also, perhaps unfortunately this isn't a surprise to you, it disproportionately affects those of us that are living in poor and developing nations.

We have to think about changing how we power civilization.

We believe that by reducing air pollution there's the ability to save millions of lives. 

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Martin Wildy
Martin Wildy

Martin Wildy, CFA, serves as Portfolio Manager at Eventide.