Australian Ethical pledges Amazon protection as world strikes to demand climate action

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Australian Ethical participating in ‘HalfCut’ rainforest fundraiser.

Australian Ethical (ASX: AEF) has pledged to protect five acres of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest for new and referring members, as businesses and school children around the world strike to raise awareness of the global climate emergency.

The ethical wealth manager is responding to growing concerns from members and the community about the impacts of deforestation and is working closely to protect the Amazon rainforest through Rainforest Trust[1] and HalfCut.

Australian Ethical research shows climate change has outpaced cost of living as the number one concern for Australians for the first time since the research began in 2014[2].

Allyson Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer at Australian Ethical, said: “At Australian Ethical, our members look to us to provide leadership on the issues that matter most to them and they’re telling us that nothing concerns them more right now than the state of the planet.

“Deforestation is escalating and while fires in the Amazon are drawing attention to the problem, there is still not enough money being invested to protect the world’s forests, despite their capacity to combat the climate crisis. Out of the USD 256bn committed globally to mitigating climate change, only 1.5 per cent goes to stopping deforestation, even though forests could help provide as much as a third of the solution.[3]

“That’s why it’s so exciting to be working with HalfCut to protect the Amazon rainforest – not just on behalf of our members but on behalf of the planet.”

Australian Ethical members James Stanton-Cooke and Jessica Clarke started HalfCut to buy and protect endangered rainforests globally and brought the campaign to Australian Ethical’s attention.

James Stanton-Cooke, or Jimmy HalfCut as he is also known, said: “Half of the world’s forests are already gone and that is an absolute crisis. These forests have huge importance in fighting climate change by acting as carbon sinks to offset the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

“We want to empower people to take action on global deforestation by protecting the last remaining tropical rainforests and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Australian Ethical to take our message to more people.”

The Responsible Investment Association Australasia’s (RIAA) recent Benchmark Report 2019 shows responsible investing has grown to nearly $1 trillion, with nine in 10 Australians expecting their super and other investments to be invested ethically.

Ms Lowbridge said: “Australians have realised the power of money to create change and that they don’t have to sacrifice investment performance to protect the planet and have a comfortable retirement.”

“The window for effective climate action is closing fast and the decisions we make today will determine the security of the future of the planet as we know it.”

“We want to help people understand the difference they can make with their money and hope they will join us in this defining movement.”

Australian Ethical supports the Global Climate Strike and was one of the first 1,800 Australian organisations to join the #notbusinessasusual coalition calling for immediate action on climate change. It has invited its members, selected companies it invests in and other stakeholders to join its employees and support the student-led global strikes.

The Australian Ethical Protect the Amazon member pledge runs until 3 October 2019.

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