By Anders Lorenzen
Orsted, one of the world’s largest clean energy companies, have moved into what some might say is unusual territory for an energy company: they have launched a children’s book to help parents discuss climate change with their kids.
The Danish company says that after a year of extreme weather events, but also breakthroughs in green energy developments, their aim is to facilitate conversations between parents and children about tackling climate change. The illustrated children’s book was launched in concert with an online resource which provides a set of guidelines for how to talk about climate change with children.
The book, ‘Is This My Home?’, is 43 pages and illustrated by South Korean award-winning illustrator Yeji Yun and created as a joint effort by Orsted and creative partner Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. The story centres around a little girl travelling the world in search of an answer to the question ‘Is this my home?’ Through the eyes of the girl and all the animals she meets, the book showcases that we all share the same home –Planet Earth –and that we must take care of it and protect it.
Filip Engel, Senior Director at Orsted said about the project: “We’ve created a children’s book and an online universe to help adults talk to children about why we need to take care of our planet, and what we can do about climate change. Ultimately, we want to encourage children to be a greener next generation.”
As part of the project, Orsted conducted an international survey among parents of young children to shed light on the need to support dialogue about climate change between parents and children. The company said that the results are clear with 58% of parents wanting to speak more about climate change with their children, and among parents talking to their children about climate change monthly or less, 68% say this is due to lack of knowledge or that climate change is too difficult a subject to explain.
Orsted claim their initiative is a helping hand for adults looking to take a child-oriented approach to climate change. They explain that the book and the online universe provide an alternative to the prevailing negative narrative about the possible catastrophic consequences of climate change. Engel said that too often the climate change debate is dominated by negative stories about climate change which scare children, making it harder for parents to talk about children about the issue.
Engel was also adamant about putting forward positive solutions which can be communicated to children: “One of the biggest obstacles in terms of climate change is the thought that there’s nothing we can do anyway. But we can fight climate change. Green energy is cheaper than coal, so we do have solutions. There’s no reason to wait. We must phase out coal and replace it with green energy faster than is happening today. Parents should not stop talking about the problems, but they should start talking much more about how we can take care of our common home.”
‘Is This My Home?’ is aimed at children aged 5-8. It is available for free as an illustrated e-book with optional narration in four languages and can be downloaded from within the online universe here.