According to a recent survey from Allianz Global Investors, everyday investors believe that environmental technology will drive future economic growth in the U.S. and that the Obama administration isn't doing enough to promote these initiatives. Some 70 percent of respondents said policies that promote green practices and technologies will have a positive impact on economic growth, while 57 percent believe that a major push to create green jobs will help turn the economy around. From Dec. 28, 2009 to Jan. 12, 2010, Allianz polled more than 1,200 adults who hold primary or shared responsibility for investment decisions in households with financial assets of at least $100,000.
Since 2007, when Allianz first conducted the survey, there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of investors who said they are capitalizing on environmental trends. More than half said they plan to invest in environmental technology over the next year. And 63 percent of respondents classified the environment as the most desirable investment opportunity out of 11 categories listed in the survey, which included a range of sectors such as financial services companies, commodities, and traditional energy companies. "Clearly, investors still see and aren't turning away from the investing opportunities available to them in the clean tech space," says Bozena Jankowska, head of the RCM sustainability research team and portfolio manager of the Allianz RCM Global EcoTrends Fund (symbol AECOX). "Even though things may be looking quite dire, and perhaps there may be other things to worry about, they still see this as a long-term investment opportunity."
Respondents also showed disapproval in the way the Obama administration and Congress are promoting these new technologies. In the 2008 survey, 78 percent believed that the Obama administration would do more than the Bush administration to promote environmental investment and 74 percent believed Congress would be more supportive. Now, only 49 percent say they believe Obama is doing as much as he should to promote these new technologies, while only 34 percent believe Congress has done their part. "They've pumped quite a lot of stimulus money into this area so that is actually quite surprising," Jankowska says. "Perhaps the Obama administration isn't communicating effectively enough with the public."