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Seeking a Guilt-Free Green Investment? Introducing ‘CoPower Green Bonds’

A recent Tyee series asked whether it’s possible to invest in a better world. We say yes.

By Trish Nixon 24 Sep 2018 | CoPower

Trish Nixon is managing partner at CoPower.

This article is part of a sponsored content partnership between The Tyee and CoPower.

Is there such a thing as a guilt-free investment when it comes to climate change?

That’s the question Christopher Pollon asks in his recent three-part series for The Tyee in which he, a self-described small-fry retail investor, attempts to make investments that make real money while avoiding fossil fuels. He calls it “a paralysis unique to our age,” the need to invest for the future in the midst of a climate emergency caused by the very growth investors need to embrace.

We hear you, Chris! And you’re definitely not alone. In fact, your writing sounds just like the conversations we’re having with our own investors every day.

The call we have with each investor before they make their first CoPower Green Bond investment can feel a lot like money therapy. We might hear about someone’s breakup with an advisor who wouldn’t take their concerns about climate change seriously, or their frustration over the fact that their bank’s ethical fund still invests in oil or gas, or the realization that the money they left sitting in a savings account was being lent out by the bank for who knows what.

A clean energy investment for everyone

More and more Canadians are seeking investments that reflect their concerns about climate change, but the reality is, it can still be frustrating for retail investors to find good financial opportunities that truly align with their values and the positive change they want to see.

One of the reasons we created CoPower’s Green Bonds was to give Canadian investors of all sizes an easy and attractive way to invest directly in the solutions to climate change.

Fossil-free investing, after all, will only take us so far. To make the low carbon transition a reality we also need to put our money behind solutions like clean energy, energy efficiency and green buildings.

Green bonds: An investment in the solutions to climate change

CoPower’s theory of change is all about connecting investors seeking profit and purpose with clean energy projects seeking financing.

Despite their environmental benefits and strong return profile, many clean energy projects are still considered too small to attract financing from traditional lenders like banks and pension funds. (And to be clear, when we say “small”, we’re talking about projects with a capital expenditure value of under $20 million — small if you’re a pension fund or major bank used to financing the large, centralized fossil-fuel projects of the old energy economy.)

An investment in CoPower’s six-year, 5% and four-year, 4% Green Bonds is an investment in Canada’s new energy economy. Our Green Bonds are backed by a diversified portfolio of loans to over 750 small-to-midsize clean energy and energy efficiency projects that together are projected to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 7,000 tonnes annually.

851px version of Geothermal project
The installations behind CoPower’s latest clean energy investment: 417 residential geothermal projects in Kelowna, British Columbia. Image provided by CoPower.

The portfolio includes loans to energy efficiency projects like LED retrofit projects in condo buildings across Ontario, B.C. and Alberta, residential geoexchange installations in Québec and British Columbia, and community solar projects in Ontario. Projects generate steady revenues from the sale of clean energy or energy savings, and as clean energy developers repay their CoPower loans, that money flows through to our green bond investors as fixed interest payments.

It’s a win-win proposition. CoPower’s model, supported by the solid economics of clean energy, allows our investors to earn attractive annual returns and reduce emissions while providing catalytic financing to help grow Canada’s clean energy industry and get our climate on to a safer track.

If you want to fight climate change, move your money, asap.

How we invest our money really matters. As CoPower’s own research shows, the average Canadian investor does more damage to the climate with their investment portfolio than they do with all their other day-to-day choices combined. And as this summer of deadly heat waves, forest fires and that alarming new term “hothouse earth” shows, how fast we can move our money matters even more.

CoPower’s Green Bonds are just one out of a growing number of clean energy investment opportunities available to Canadians. Do your research and choose the right investment for your portfolio, because ultimately, to fight climate change, we need a movement of people like Chris Pollon who are asking these kinds of questions and then taking action, asap.

[Editor’s note: This article is a paid advertorial, part of a Tyee Presents sponsored content partnership between The Tyee and CoPower. Content within Tyee Presents plays an important part in growing revenue for our independent, professional, paid journalism. The Tyee does not and cannot vouch for or endorse products advertised on The Tyee.]  [Tyee]

Read more: Energy

This article is part of a Tyee Presents initiative. Tyee Presents is the special sponsored content section within The Tyee where we highlight contests, events and other initiatives that are either put on by us or by our select partners. The Tyee does not and cannot vouch for or endorse products advertised on The Tyee. We choose our partners carefully and consciously, to fit with The Tyee’s reputation as B.C.’s Home for News, Culture and Solutions. Learn more about Tyee Presents here.

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