Many experts believe that we are nearly past the point of no return when it comes to climate change – that only drastic, large-scale action is able to turn things around now.
Some would look to governments, large multinational corporations, and pressure groups to do something about this.
But one young, passionate paraplanner from Brighton is urging people to look at their own carbon footprint, through their finances.
What is green finance?
Casey Goodwin, who has just joined the UK’s first impact-only financial advisory firm with the purpose of tackling the climate crisis through impact investment – The Path, is calling on local people to find out what kinds of industries their pension, savings or investments are propping up.
Without knowing it, she says that people’s hard-earned money could be supporting industries involved with fossil fuel extraction, deforestation, warfare and arms, habitat destruction, animal testing, nuclear and tobacco production. And yet, if we used the power at our disposal as a consumer to change this, the environmental benefits could be huge.
Casey said: “If just one person moved £50,000 from a conventional portfolio to a balanced impact one – where the only companies and funds it supports are ones that have a positive impact on people and the planet – they could reduce carbon emissions by 16 tonnes per year. That’s the equivalent of taking three petrol cars off the road.”
Moving into impact investing
Casey joined The Path around a month ago, following five years at a financial planning company. She said the decision to make this move was an easy one, adding that she ‘did enjoy her previous work but felt this underlying, undeniable sense of guilt when advising clients to move their money to funds based on return-on-investment alone’.
She describes this as a ‘seeing the light’ experience and is now on a mission to help others realise just how easy and beneficial it is to make this move into impact investing.
“I know the people of Brighton and Hove to be a considered and thoughtful group of people, who care about what they do, how they act, and the impact they have on our precious world,” Casey said. “That’s why I’m confident that they will come forward and say, ‘how can I help?’, in the same way that I did.”
Gender should not hold you back
Having lived in Brighton since 2014, Casey has found herself deeply inspired by the area’s sustainable motivations, with it being the only constituency in the UK represented by a member of parliament from the Green Party, Caroline Lucas.
Casey is also passionate about other revenues of social justice, such as improving the gender balance and encouraging more women to pursue a career in financial advice.
She said: “I want girls to see my appointment and believe that their gender will not hold them back from pursuing the career they want. Companies like The Path are making conscious efforts every day to fight this gender imbalance, and I’m proud to be an example of this.”
David MacDonald, the founder of The Path, added: “I am thrilled to welcome Casey to her new role, and it is brilliant to see young female professionals wanting to align their work with their values.
“Casey’s talents and passions made her the perfect fit for our company, and we cannot wait to see how her contribution can help The Path to reach more people in Brighton, and how her activism can have a real impact on the rest of the world.”
To find out more about The Path visit www.thepath.co.uk