Young people drive change as flying cars the future

Written by Lori Campbell on 1st Feb 2021

Young people are leading the rise in sustainable investing, according to a new poll, as the world’s first urban airport for flying cars is set to be built in the UK. Meanwhile, asset manager Aviva threatens to ditch stakes in 30 of the world’s biggest oil, gas, mining and utilities companies if they fail to tackle the climate crisis, one in 10 bank customers say they would switch if they found their bank was investing heavily in fossil fuels, and two-thirds of people think climate change is an “emergency.” It’s the Good With Money weekly news brief.

Young people lead rise in sustainable investing

One in 10 young people have chosen to invest in funds or companies that make a positive difference to the planet and society in the last year, a new study reveals.

The report by BMO Global Asset Management shows that young people have led the surge sustainable investing in the last 12 months, with 11 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 (equivalent to 1.4 million young people) choosing ethical funds compared with just two per cent of those aged over 55.

While older generations have been slower off the mark with putting their money to good use, they have been outdoing younger generations when it comes to adopting ‘greener’ day-to-day habits.

The report found that three in four (76 per cent) adults aged 55+ have started taking their own shopping bags when shopping, a similar number (71 per cent) have been reducing their food waste, while almost half (47 per cent) have started sourcing products locally wherever possible.

Find out how to invest for good with our Good Guide to Impact Investing

Urban airport to pave the way for flying cars

The world’s first urban airport for flying cars and drones will be developed under government-backed plans to cut road congestion and pollution.

A temporary airport will be built in Coventry later this year to allow small electric passenger-carrying aircraft to operate in a built-up area.

The site, close to the Ricoh Arena, will also accommodate parcel delivery drones and electric cars. The zero-emission airport, to be called Air One, will open for a month in November as part of events to mark Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. It is hoped that a more permanent facility will be created in the future.

Urban-Air Port, the London-based aerospace company which is behind the facility, said it planned to build more than 200 sites in the next five years.

Aviva to ditch stakes in companies not tackling climate change

Asset manager Aviva has warned it will ditch stakes in 30 of the world’s biggest oil, gas, mining and utilities companies if they fail to tackle climate change.

The investment group has called on the companies to set net zero emission goals and integrate climate risks into their strategy. If they don’t meet its expectations over the next one to three years, Aviva said will divest across both its equity (shares) and credit portfolio.

The blunt message from Aviva Investors, which manages £355 billion, departs from the blueprint of most asset managers, which is to stay invested in the oil and gas industry while urging companies to do more on global warming.

Aviva declined to name the companies it is targeting, but it is a big shareholder in many of the world’s largest oil, gas and mining companies, with its holdings worth billions of pounds. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, it is a top 30 shareholder in oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell, as well as miners Rio Tinto and Glencore.

Find out how to align your pension with your values in our Good Guide to Pensions


UK banks must get tougher on climate or lose millions of customers

One in 10 bank customers would switch banks if they found theirs was investing heavily in fossil fuels, a new survey reveals.

The ‘Banks on Our Future’ survey, carried out on behalf of campaign group Market Forces, polled 1,000 Barclays customers and 1,000 people banking with HSBC.

Both banks have come under fire from climate campaigners and shareholders in recent years over their investments in oil, gas, coal and tar sands. The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) claims that they have jointly invested more than £149 billion in fossil fuels since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

Of the 2,000 people polled, an overwhelming 80 per cent said they were not aware that their bank was investing in fossil fuels. When they were made aware, more than one in ten (12.5 per cent) said they were “very likely” to switch banks. According to Market Forces, 12.5 per cent of Barclays’ and HSBC’s UK customers is around three million people.

The findings come after the Make My Money Matter campaign has called on Brits to pressure their banks and pension fund providers to take stronger action on climate change.

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Two thirds of the world say climate change is an “emergency”

The biggest ever opinion poll on climate change has found two-thirds of people think it is a “global emergency”.

The People’s Climate Vote survey shows people across the world support climate action and gives politicians a clear mandate to take the major action needed, according to the UN organisation that carried it out.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) questioned 1.2 million people over the age of 14 in 50 countries and in 17 languages. The most significant proportion of people who felt climate change is an emergency (74 percent) came from Belize, Fiji, and Trinidad and Tobago — countries the report identifies as “Small Island Developing Nations”, that are particularly vulnerable to climate-change impacts like sea-level rise and drought.

While younger people showed the greatest concern, with 69 per cent of those aged 14-18 saying there is a climate emergency, 58 per cent of those over 60 agreed, suggesting there is not a huge generational divide.

In nations where fossil fuels are a major source of emissions, people strongly supported renewable energy, including the US (65 per cent in favour), Australia (76 per cent) and Russia (51 per cent).

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