Earlier this year when I was working on my thesis topic I had some people say they would be interested in hearing the results.
My thesis topic was exploring the investment of corporations (firms) in clean energy and whether or not increased investment from them could push public policy. As we know lobbyist are big part of the US government (and other governments throughout the world). They operate on behalf of corporations, NGO’s and other groups which want representation at the government level, and are responsible for influencing law makers in the corporations interest.
What I found in my research was that corporations are already investing, sometimes heavily, in clean energy yet they aren’t putting these things in front of law makers and pushing public policy for clean energy.
Why? Honestly, clean energy benefits them but traditional energy still benefits them more.
What can we do about it? The best method, I believe, is divestment but this can be tricky as many corporations walk the line between being fully involved in clean energy but not fully showing support at a government policy level. However divestment, especially when combined with a larger social movement, has seen success.
Consumers could also bring more awareness to their spending habits and make a point to move spending away from corporations that either don’t invest in clean energy or those which do but don’t back public policy for it. These cases are really more successful when a large boycotting movement is taken up. While the actual boycott doesn’t usually fully accomplish the goal, because it’s a massive undertaking, it does bring awareness and help put public pressure on the corporations.
None of these are new ideas but, in the US especially, the general public lacks economic and government education. This makes it easy to mislead and over look sometimes simple solutions.