Although there won't be a climate change bill coming through
today, the White House says that such a bill would be "doable"
sometime this year.
Matthew Daly for Associated Press reports that
members of Congress increasingly understand the need to develop
clean energy that does not emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants
blamed for global warming.
A bill will be introduced on Monday that would apply different
carbon controls to different sectors of the economy, without a
broad cap-and-trade approach. It aims to cut emissions of
pollution-causing greenhouse gases 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
It also likely will expand domestic production of oil, natural gas
and nuclear power, thus weaning ourselves off oil dependence and
implementing the greater use of clean fuel sources.
Let's face it: there's a lot of cleaning up to be done, and room
for growth spells an opportunity. What are some of the negative
effects of climate change that we need to offset?
How serious is a warming of a few degrees?
The increases may appear minor compared to short-term weather
changes from night to day and winter to summer. In global climate
terms, however, warming at this rate would be much larger and
faster than any of the climate changes over at least the past
How will climate change affect ecosystems?
As the climate continues to warm, major changes may occur in
ecosystem structure and function, species' ecological
interactions, and species' geographic ranges, with predominantly
negative consequences for biodiversity. Migration patterns and
habitats will also be altered forever.
How will climate change affect human health?
Longer, more intense and frequent heat waves may cause more
heat-related death and illness. There is virtual certainty of
declining air quality in cities since greater heat can also
worsen air pollution such as ozone or smog. Insect-borne
illnesses are also likely to increase as many insect ranges
Alternative energy ETFs are becoming increasingly popular, but
they haven't exactly been lighting the markets on fire lately. Why?
Many of the companies making up these funds are still in the early
stages of development. For that reason, there's a prevailing
feeling that investment in the green energy sector is more of a
long-term story than an immediate opportunity. As the story plays
out, these are some of the ETFs that may be telling it:
PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (
Holds companies involved in green energy across the spectrum -
solar power, fuel cell development, and other technologies that
promote green energy development and use.
Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (
GEX holds companies that derive 50% of their revenues from the
alternative energy industry, including water, solar and wind.
It's most heavily invested in the United States, which has 44% of
the weighting. Denmark, Spain and Germany all have weightings
: Solar energy is nothing new, but it remains one of the "big
ideas" nonetheless. Money is needed to get many of the larger new
projects up and running, while many of the smaller companies are
scrambling to get noticed. There could be a need for these
companies, too: by 2030, 1.3 billion people around the world will
still be without power. Major national players in the solar energy
field include Germany and China.
Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (
Heaviest weights are in China, Germany and the United States; the
largest solar ETF
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (
Heaviest weights are in United States, China and Germany; has
slightly fewer holdings (29) than TAN
: Some of the water systems in the United States are so old, they
were built back during the time of the Civil War. With a pipe break
a day in Washington at times, isn't it time to replace some of the
water infrastructure to help maintain and protect what resource we
still have? And that's to say nothing of the situation around the
world - millions of people need and lack access to clean, potable
PowerShares Water Resources (
Holdings are equally distributed between large-cap value, mid-cap
growth and small-cap growth. More than 77% of this fund is
allocated to industrials; PIO has a lower allocation to the
sector, and a bigger one to utilities.
PowerShares Global Water (
Has its biggest exposure to the United States, with 33% of the
weighting, followed by Japan, France and the United Kingdom.
Claymore S&P Global Water (
Most of this fund's 50 securities are based in the United States,
but Britain and France also make an appearance. Utilities and
industrials are the biggest sectors.
First Trust ISE Water Index (
: Holds 36 stocks from around the world; the heaviest sector
weights are in industrials, materials and utilities.
: There's been a push here to get more Americans on this type of
power. The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a goal of
obtaining 6% of U.S. electricity from wind by 2020 - a goal that is
consistent with the current rate of growth of wind energy
nationwide. It is likely that wind energy will provide a growing
portion of the nation's energy supply, especially as the public
demands clean energy and as the costs become lower.
First Trust Global Wind Energy (
Biggest country weightings are in Spain, the United States and
Germany, and is mostly invested in utilities and
PowerShares Global Wind Energy (
Largest allocation is to mid-cap growth companies, but 20% is
small-cap growth and 25% is large-cap growth; heaviest country
weightings are in France, Spain and Denmark.
: The White House has guaranteed more than $8 billion in loan
guarantees for funding construction of two new nuclear reactors,
and Richard Phillips, senior index analyst at New York-based
S-Network, says that around the world "there are more than 200 new
nuclear reactors under order, and many more are expected to
Market Vectors Nuclear Energy (
Holds uranium miners, nuclear generation, plant infrastructure,
uranium storage and more.
PowerShares Global Nuclear (
Heaviest weightings are in United States, Japan and Canada and
has a primarily large-cap bent; greatest exposure is to
industrials, utilities and energy.
iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy (
Biggest sector weighting is in electric utilities, which make up
nearly half the fund's assets; oil, gas and construction round
out the top weightings.
Bear in mind that the broader ETFs pose less risk, while the
sector-focused ones may show more volatility as their respective
sectors go through the stages of growth. Use a trend following
strategy to find and capitalize on these opportunities, but be sure
to have a stop loss, especially since we're dealing with relatively
young industries. [
How to Follow Trends.
6 ETFs to Watch as Greek Drama Unfolds