#schoolstrike4climate #fridaysforfuture

When we hear about strikes in the UK, the first thing that comes to mind is the commonly occurring industrial action strikes but now there is another kind of strike taking Westminster, Parliament Square and the streets of many other British towns and cities – climate strikes.

Students join the protest in Westminister. (Image Source: Nick Ansell/PA)

Students join the protest in Westminister. (Image Source: Nick Ansell/PA)

To understand all this better, let us first introduce Greta Thunberg. In her twitter bio she describes herself as a “16-year-old climate activist with Asperger”. When she was younger Greta said to have been shown documentaries at school entailing the disastrous effects of climate change on the environment as well as the surrounding wildlife. These images stuck with Greta and since then she has convinced her parents to become vegetarian, then vegan, as well as urged her mother (a well-known Opera singer in Sweden whose career depends on travelling) to not fly anymore.

More recently, 25 weeks ago to be exact, Greta decided to skip school to protest in front of Swedish Parliament for the fact that adults have failed to protect the future generations from their actions resulting in climate change.

At the recent COP24 summit Greta accuses adults of “stealing their (children’s) future in front of their very eyes”, she also says we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to not make any matters worse. (Full video of Thunberg’s speech at the COP24 can be found below)

The COP24 or the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference took place between the 2nd and 15th December 2018 in Poland. The conference was primarily used to agree on rules to implement from the Paris Agreement that will come into force in 2020.  

Since the climate change agreement summit Greta has been motivating children and students around the world to leave school every Friday, like her, to urge adults to take climate action including transitions to greener energy sources. These strikes were inspired by the school walk outs that took place after the deadly school shooting in Florida on February 14th last year.

Continuing her campaign at the World Economic Forum, Greta Thunberg arrived after a 32-hour train journey, unlike the delegates who reached the forum in Davos, Switzerland by up to 1,500 individual private jet flights.

Greta Thungberg in Davos. (Image Source: Twitter)

Greta Thungberg in Davos. (Image Source: Twitter)

Further taking her efforts to social media where she is able to reach more of younger crowd Greta uses hashtags #climatestrike and #fridaysforfuture, inspiring children to “demand the preservation of their futures”.

The word has spread all over the globe, school children from Switzerland have travelled for 26 hours by train to visit her to ask for her assistance with petitions requesting tougher carbon emission laws in Switzerland. Individual Twitter accounts have been set up for regional youth climate strike action groups spanning from New Jersey (USA), Belgium to India and France, all aiming to have a global school walk out on March 15th involving students from more than 40 countries.  

More than 20,000 students held strikes in at least 270 cities (as at December 2018), all wanting the government “to declare a climate emergency”.

These school strikes have already caused much controversy, Theresa May has slammed young people staging mass walk-outs stating ‘disruption to planned time was damaging to pupils and increased teacher’s workloads’. Other people have taken to Twitter admiring the younger generation’s stance on implementing change, saying that demonstrating in such a protest would not hinder a job application but enhance it.

Students striking in Australia. (Image Source: Mike Bowers/The Guardian)

Students striking in Australia. (Image Source: Mike Bowers/The Guardian)

What are your thoughts on children stepping up for tougher climate targets and reforms?

Greta Thungberg full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference. (Source: Youtube)

5 reasons why you should invest ethically

Consumer demand for ethical investing is on the rise, now almost £13 billion of UK investors’ money now under the management of ethical funds (Investment Association). We’ve put together a few reasons which why this may be happening and why we think you may want to consider investing ethically.

1.       You can decide what your money is financing. If you currently invest in a pension or an ISA there is a very strong chance that your money could be financing, among other things, weapon production, animal exploitation or environmental damage. If the impact that your money may have on such issues matters to you then responsible investing is something you should consider.

2.       You can make a difference. Nowadays investors have a growing choice of funds and can personalize their portfolios to make a positive difference. Impact investing is investing made with the intention to generate positive, measurable and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Here is an example below (ImpactBase)

A European private equity fund invests between several million in companies that provide clean electricity to rural communities in developing countries with limited access to energy. The fund made an investment in a company that provides solar energy for lighting and refrigeration in rural Indian households, schools, and hospitals that have limited access to the main electricity grid. Enabled by this investment, the company has installed more than 40,000 systems and currently offsets 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Some positive criteria which a fund may choose to invest in are: minimising animal testing, environmental management and human rights support.

3.       You don’t have to sacrifice financial returns. For a long time, ethical investing had negative connotations attached to it; more volatility, lower returns, higher costs. Fortunately, a remarkable transformation has taken place as many ethical funds currently on the market consistently outperform their more conventional and established their peers.

In a journal by Friede (Deutsche Asset &Wealth Management) and Busch (University of Hamburg), over 2000 empirical studies on the relationship between ESG factors and corporate financial performance from the past 40 years were aggregate. The journal concluded that 90% of them have found that ESG factors have a positive or neutral impact on financial returns.

4.       It makes sense. Investing ethically provides solutions for environmental concerns in the long term such as global warming and pollution, and investments supporting these tend to hold firm in times of volatility.

5.       Psychic returns (non-wealth motivations). Making a positive difference to the world we live in through your investment decisions can give a feel good factor, just like when you would donate to charity or volunteer. All whilst insuring a hopefully brighter future for now and the generations to come.

Results of client ethical views survey


As many of you are probably aware we have a survey on our website entitled ‘What are your ethical concerns?’ We’ve put this up to find out what people’s ethical views are, mostly so we can further understand what funds we should be researching to add to our portfolios to better suit our clients.

The results are as follows:

·         100% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting animal testing for non-medical purposes, such as perfume or cosmetics

·         100% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting the intensive farming of animals.

·         100% people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting the manufacture of armaments.

·         87.50% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting climate change/fossil fuels-the extraction and exploration of fossil fuels.

Luckily, all our portfolios are now fully divested. Ensuring that our clients’ pensions and ISAs benefit from all the research and attention you would expect from a wealth manager, whilst helping the transition to a sustainable economy and relationship with the world.

·         87.50% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting gambling.

·         100% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting human rights violations.

·         62.50% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting pornography.

·         88.89% of people would be concerned if their pension or investment was supporting tobacco.

These results are intriguing and help us better understand what clients would possibly want in their portfolios, allowing us to narrow down our research.

We aim to keep these results regularly updated and shared with you to give you a brief look at what other people’s thoughts and ethical issues are.