In This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate (2014), Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein argues that our current economic model of unrestricted growth and market fundamentalism is unable to meet the accelerating challenges of climate change . Natalie Chung Sum-yue, a co-founder of V’Air Hong Kong, an environmental education organisation launched in 2015 that aims to promote low-carbon tourism through initiatives including education and local tours, tells Richard Lord how it changed her life. I read it around 2019. It was required reading for my master’s degree in environmental management at Oxford University (for which she studied between 2019 and 2021). It was entirely new to me; I hadn’t read any of Naomi Klein’s books before, but I read a lot of them after. One of the most important effects it had was to make the connection between climate change and other social issues. After neoliberalism, there are many challenges with inequality and poverty. It’s a very powerful statement: that climate change is an opportunity to fix these other issues. In the past I tended to be quite focused on climate change as a single issue. I knew that our daily life habits affect climate change, and changing them can help to solve it, but I didn’t see it as a tool to solve other issues. After reading this book, I understood more about feminism, colonial history and the movement for indigenous rights. I didn’t see colonialism as a negative thing per se; whenever we talked about climate change, a South African classmate would ask how we decolonise it, and I was annoyed at first – why does he have to relate everything to colonialism? But after reading this, I realised it was true. Climate change can be very colonial, with the legacy of historical emissions. How A Passage to India changed arts academy director Gillian Choa’s life I used to take a more technocratic approach to the subject, and see it as a modern problem. After, I started to understand the nuances and the complexity, and how it links to the lives of people in marginalised communities. For example, planting trees seems like an effective way to help the environment, but there’s a huge issue with land grabbing for rich countries to be able to buy carbon credits. Understanding the connections and including communities in the decision-making process makes it more equitable. One of the important things in the book is how it challenges the whole capitalist system. Some of the systems that used to work need a shift of mindset. She talks about extractivist versus regenerative economics, the move from anthropo-centrism to ecocentrism – from seeing humans as superior to seeing them as part of a system. It resulted in quite a pivotal shift in my career development. I’d done environmental education work for almost five years; now I’m looking more into international climate policy and how it influences communities. At V’Air, we ask: how does the future of tourism in Hong Kong look? When we look at sustainable tourism projects, how do we make sure communities are involved? Sometimes it’s not about how much money the government has poured into the region, but about what the people want.