Green rent-seekers ‘see nirvana coming’

April 6, 2009

As reported in the April 2 Energy & Environment News article, “Wall Street sees ‘bucks to be made’ in House climate plan,” the folks that brought us Enron and credit default swaps are back:

NEW YORK — In the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, city officials and Wall Street executives are talking about turning the battered U.S. financial center into a global hub of green finance and environmental commodities trading.

The spark: draft energy and climate legislation unveiled by two senior House Democrats in Washington this week…

What stands out to many here is that the bill reflects the position on cap and trade for greenhouse gases outlined by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a green coalition heavy on corporate membership.

It’s very heavily influenced by that,” said Rubén Kraiem, a partner with the energy law practice Covington & Burling…

And money managers are lining up for the challenge

Though unemployment is expected to continue to rise and the deep recession is seen lasting throughout 2009, analysts say the stock markets appear to be ending their wild swings and are bottoming out. Those who have cash on hand are looking to environmentally friendly asset plays for places to invest.

Some 97 green hedge funds are actively operating, and more are expected to enter the fray as economic conditions improve…

… One venture capital manager, ironically, compared the momentum to the start of the infamous dot-com push, noting that virtually all funds now take it for granted they need exposure to renewable energy and cleantech — regardless of how good the returns are.

There are bucks to be made,” said Neal Dikeman, a founding partner of Jane Capital. “Huge playground.“…

“A lot of trading is going to reside here in New York,” said Peter Fusaro, chairman of Global Change Associates and organizer of the Green Trading Summit. “I can see nirvana coming.“…

“We’re here about the environment first and making money second,” Ertel said. “We have to be self-policing.

Yeah, like that last quote will happen.

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