One Cool Thing: Youth Activists Get Federer to Talk Climate

Roger Federer of Switzerland posing for a photo during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 January 2020.

Image: Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia Handout/EPA

Youth climate activists (including Greta Thunberg) called out tennis superstar Roger Federer in a big way for his sponsorship deal with Credit Suisse over its links to the fossil fuel industry. Activists like 350.org expressed loans by Credit Suisse to companies investing in fossil fuels were incompatible with action on climate change and urged Federer to “wake up.”

In a response Federer said the following:

“I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amidst devastation from the bush fires,’ read a statement from Federer sent to Reuters. ‘As the father of four young children and a fervent supporter of universal education, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the youth climate movement, and I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviours and act on innovative solutions.

We owe it to them and ourselves to listen. I appreciate reminders of my responsibility as a private individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I’m committed to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors.”

Additionally, Credit Suisse responded by saying it is “seeking to align its loan portfolios with the objectives of the Paris Agreement [to combat climate change] and has recently announced in the context of its global climate strategy that it will no longer invest in new coal-fired power plants.” It’s not full divestment but hopefully a step in the right direction.

 

 

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