Jules Kortenhorst, partner at Vision Ridge Partners, shares his thoughts on the year so far, as part of our mid-year impact Q&A series.

Has the political backlash against ESG affected your business? How do you feel about it?

At Vision Ridge Partners, we have not experienced any adverse effects on our business as a result of any political backlash against ESG. In fact, partly on the back of the Inflation Reduction Act, we have seen an increase in the breadth and number of investment opportunities across energy and the climate transition.

There is an increasing realisation from the public generally, and institutional investors specifically, that the transition to a low carbon energy future is now well underway, and therefore creating many attractive investment opportunities.

In particular, we are seeing interesting opportunities across our key sectors of focus: energy, mobility, and agriculture.

The impact investing market is scaling up and going mainstream; how is this affecting your business?

At Vision Ridge, we see a growing number of interesting opportunities to invest in sustainable real assets. Policy on both sides of the Atlantic – the Green Deal in Europe and then the Inflation Reduction Act in the US – have helped unlock more opportunities to invest in decarbonisation across the energy, mobility and agricultural sectors specifically.

As a result, there is a ‘race to the top’ emerging, where businesses as well as governments are looking to benefit from the transformation to a sustainable and low carbon economy.

China is also very much part of this race to dominate the sustainable industries of the future as demonstrated by its very large export market share in Solar PV, batteries and Electric Vehicles, among others.

Which impact themes, sectors or strategies do you see as being most exciting and untapped?

We are seeing interesting new investment opportunities emerge in green molecules, in the supply chain for clean energy technologies, in the building out of the infrastructure for electrified transportation, and in ways to address the challenges of scaling up renewable power on the grid, among others.

In Europe in particular, we are seeing an increasing number of opportunities to make economies more circular through the recycling and reuse of materials.

Additionally, there is an untapped opportunity to invest in several of these themes in the Global South, where financing challenges are however still significant. Specifically, as countries, such as in Asia and Africa, seek to finance their scale up of renewable power, new financing instruments and lower costs of capital will be critical.