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The Greta Effect? A Thematic Analysis of the Influence of Youth Climate Change Activism on Energy Investors’ Decisions

Hanley, Louise (2020) The Greta Effect? A Thematic Analysis of the Influence of Youth Climate Change Activism on Energy Investors’ Decisions. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This research deals with the observation and examination of energy investors’ feelings, thoughts, and attitudes in respect of young climate change activists such as Greta Thunberg. A theoretical thematic analysis is carried out in order to ascertain whether these investors are influenced in their investment behaviour by the awareness raised by the activists. The theoretical background for the study is behavioural finance. This discipline contradicts the notion of the investor as a rational actor, which is an assumption of traditional theories based on the concept of efficient markets. Instead, it assumes that investors are apt to be motivated by various non-financial influences.

In the last two years Greta Thunberg has become a cultural phenomenon and important voice for the climate change movement. She has taken direct aim at the fossil fuel industry and her words and actions may prove a real threat. This study seeks to better understand the impact that she has had on energy investors.

Four overarching themes within the data were identified: Money, Money, Money; Emotional Investment; Knowledge and Experience; and The Bigger Picture. The main findings of the study relate to the polarization of the climate change debate, responsibility and blame, misunderstanding, and sympathy and commitment. The data collected confirms that energy investors are often influenced by non-financial factors in their investment decisions, including environmental awareness.

This study aims to contribute to filling a gap in the existing behavioural finance literature in relation to the influence of youth climate change activism on energy investment. It is hoped that further exploration of the issue from all perspectives will lead to better outcomes, including the creation of effective policies to encourage more sustainable energy investment choices.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > Environment
H Social Sciences > HG Finance > Investment
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Finance
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 15:49
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 15:49

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