In early 2019 we heard Greta Thunberg – a Swedish teenager – who made headlines protesting outside the Swedish Parliament about climate change. She was calling for immediate action to combat it. Her comments and actions touched a nerve among young people globally and set off a tidal wave around the world of young people speaking out and protesting about climate change.
Thunberg has continued to feature in international news regarding climate change. In late September 2019, she spoke at the United Nations Action Summit aimed at tackling climate change. She talked poignantly about how previous generations have ruined her childhood with their responses to climate change. Thunberg even went as far as to say that humans are facing extinction on earth. Here, in New Zealand, secondary school students have taken to the streets in several cities and towns in support of global action for more action against climate change.
Yet, while Greta Thunberg has international name recognition, many people may not have heard about her mother’s actions. Her mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer, who has also been politically active regarding climate change. Ernman was offered an opportunity to sing here in New Zealand. However, she turned down that great opportunity because of environmental concerns. Her actions have created a new buzz word – Flyskam – which means flight shame. There is a growing movement globally to not fly because of its negative environmental effects.
As an indication of the sentiment about climate change, in July 2019 a Stuff survey of 15,000 readers found that New Zealanders aged between 10 and 19 rated climate change as more important than any other issue. Those young people in their 20s were also very concerned about climate change. But the level of concern with climate change decreased markedly with increasing age.
Attitudes are changing in New Zealand toward ethical investing, particularly among younger people. In recent national news, there have been examples of companies acting ethically. One such example is Wellington-based company Little Yellow Bird. Little Yellow Bird supplies over 200 organisations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA with their uniform needs. They act ethically and sustainably throughout the entire manufacturing chain. In addition to ensuring that their employees are paid fairly, their customers are provided with complete transparency on the company’s manufacturing process. The company is not just concerned with being a fair and transparent company; it also demonstrates a concern for the environment with respect to the plants they use. The company measures the amount of water used in the manufacturing process; it, also, does not use any plastic to pack their finished product – the uniforms.
If you would like to check for yourself how Christian KiwiSaver Scheme investments mitigate the impact of climate change or to see – as ethical investors – what we do invest in, visit other pages on our website or call us on (0508) 738 473