Let’s Get Started: COP 21

We’re all hoping for hard and fast commitments to emerge from COP21. Karina Sidenius from our partners Abundance tells us why that must be accompanied by our own efforts….

The saying goes that actions speak louder than words, and that’s no less true when it comes to climate change.

Right now, delegates from 195 of the world’s nations are wrangling over what may be the world’s first global agreement to take the steps necessary to limit climate change.

We’re at a crucial stage where our leaders look like they might finally be ready to make the leap from talking about it to doing something about it.

And if a strong global agreement is made, it commits all of us to making that change happen. As consumers, we all bear some responsibility for where we are today – already committed to at least 1.5C warming with the gases in the atmosphere right now. We can’t rely on governments to do everything for us. We need to be doing too. It’s every aspect of our lives: about what we consume, where we live, where we place our money, which touches and is touched by the need to be more sustainable.

Lots of people know that already. We’re seeing it at Abundance, you’re seeing it here at Ecology Building Society – and our two organisations are working together to make it easier than ever to match your money with your values.

Since Abundance launched in 2012 more than £14 million has been invested into 16 renewable energy projects. This year, our 2,000 + investors were joined by Ecology Building Society, investing on behalf of its members, for the first, second, and soon to be third time, too.

It’s a perfect example of “putting the money where your mouth is”. Ecology puts it perfectly when they say:

“We believe that ethical savings aren’t just about avoiding negative impacts of your investment”

With a commitment to generating income for their organisation and their members from positive things, rather than using an ‘ethical screen’ to filter out the ‘baddies’, Ecology came to Abundance. They’re taking direct action on the things they and their members care about. In this case, it’s climate change.

And that action is impressive.

Ecology’s investments on Abundance have helped generate more than 9.5 million kWh of clean electricity for the UK. That’s enough to provide clean renewable electricity to over 2,300 UK homes for a year – more than one for each Abundance investor!

We couldn’t be more pleased, and we think Ecology’s members will be too.

Their investments are doing much more than cleaning up our power supply.

They’re also making a real difference to the lives of people across the UK. Oakapple Berwickshire, Ecology’s first investment on behalf of members, has installed free rooftop solar for housing association tenants in Berwickshire, Scotland. That means that right now families are using the free, clean electricity and saving on their bills – meaning there might be a little more for food or presents next Christmas. That’s just one example

Published: 9 December 2015

Author: Laura Baines