Policy and technology interact to create opportunities in the energy transition

30 Jan 2019

Watch this video with Mark Lewis who recently joined BNP Paribas Asset Management as Head of Climate Change Investment Research, in which he discusses how new energy transition policies and technological progress each provide stimuli for the other, thus creating opportunities for investors.

Investment Forum video 


Mark sees policy and technology interacting in a “virtuous feedback loop” in which policy drives technological innovation and progress as regulations are tightened up and measures are taken to achieve the Paris climate agreement goals. In turn, advancing technology, which for example results in lower solar power costs and allows for more efficient batteries, makes new and even more ambitious policy goals possible such as assigning greater role for solar in national energy generation.

Mark argues that the energy transition has moved from being a niche to a mainstream topic. It will become even more so as the cost of renewables continues to fall, demand for fossil fuel starts to drop (possibly after 2021-2023 for electricity generation) and governments take more measures to comply with their Paris agreement targets.

He says it is time for investors to screen portfolios and move them away from companies “on the wrong side of the energy transition”, such as companies that face fallout from the expected fall in energy prices or fossil fuel power generators. Portfolios will need to be shifted towards companies that take into account the price on carbon emissions, the need for clean air, the need to reduce energy consumption and boost energy efficiency, etc.


Who is Mark Lewis?

Mark has more than 20 years’ experience as a financial analyst covering energy and environmental markets. He joined BNPP AM from Carbon Tracker, an award-winning think-tank, where he was Head of Research. Previously, he was MD and Head of European Utilities Research at Barclays, Chief Energy Economist at Kepler Cheuvreux, and MD and Head of Carbon Research at Deutsche Bank. He was a member of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures from May 2016 to May 2018. Prior to his career in banking, Mark worked at the University of London. He has an MA in German from King’s College London, an MPhil in Latin American Studies from Cambridge University and a BA in Spanish & German from Sheffield University.

He is a member of BNPP AM’s Sustainability Research & Policy team, headed by Helena Viñes Fiestas, and reporting to Jane Ambachtsheer, BNPP AM’s Global Head of Sustainability.

Mark’s tasks include

  • providing an authoritative view on developments within climate change and energy transition, and their implications for current and future investment decision making
  • analysing energy finance and regulatory developments
  • engaging with company management to encourage them to adopt the aims of the Climate Action 100+ initiative
  • directing the climate-related research, analysis and reporting undertaken by the Sustainability Centre.