Speed Reads

a new strategy

A new index fund aims to give small investors a 'voice' to address climate change

The "dominant approach among climate-concerned investors" has traditionally been to divest from fossil-fuel stocks, writes Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic. That may be about to change.

The hedge fund Engine No. 1, which made headlines last month when it led a shareholders' revolt at ExxonMobil and helped install a few green-energy advocates on the oil giant's board, will on Tuesday launch an exchange-traded fund that will track the performance of the 500 largest public companies in the United States, the firm told Meyer. 

Meyer views the ETF as an opportunity for "average investors" to follow in Engine No. 1's footsteps and voice their concerns about climate change, potentially fulfilling his hope for a fund that aims to "reshape the market not by withdrawing money from some places and investing it in others but by engaging directly with corporate leadership and using the power of shareholder voting to push boards forward."

Ideally, Meyer wants the strategy to work "in tandem" with divestment. "Divestment should, over time, make raising money more expensive for carbon-intensive oil companies," Meyer writes, while "engagement should push companies to act in a way that makes divestment less necessary." Read more at The Atlantic.