Lorde! That's good for climate change

Lorde in Antarctica
24 February 2023

Lorde has put her money where her mouth is and donated $120,000 to climate change science in Antarctica.

The singer, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, visited Antarctica in 2019 with the Antarctica New Zealand Community Engagement Programme. She visited scientists in the field, learnt about Antarctica’s role in the global earth system and the impact climate change is having on the frozen continent.

On her return, Lorde produced a photographic book of her experience, Going South. She has now donated all the book’s proceeds, along with a top-up from her own coffers, to fund the scholarship.

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive, Sarah Williamson, is grateful for the donation.

“It’s critical that we continue to support new scientists in this important area of research. New Zealand’s Antarctic scientists are world-leading, and scholarships like this ensure we attract the best minds to help solve some of the planet’s most difficult questions” she says.

Professor Ian Hawes, from Waikato University, met Ella in Antarctica and is impressed with her desire to act.

“When people first visit Antarctica, they’re usually a little overawed by the place, and sometimes that is as far as it goes. But when Ella returned, we had a chance to talk about it, and it was obvious thought deeply about what she’d seen and experienced. It was clear she really wanted to do something to help.

“This scholarship will help us support the right people into Antarctic science, and ensure the pressing problems facing society will continue to be addressed,” he says.

The Ella Yelich-O’Connor Antarctic Doctoral Scholarship will support research that advances understanding, and promotes protection of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. There will be three $40,000 scholarships awarded over three years.

Lorde is joining other New Zealand musicians performing at tonight’s relief concert in Christchurch to raise money for those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. All profits will be donated to The Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund.


For more information, please contact:

Megan Nicholl