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Opinion: The Role of Communities in Mobilising Green Finance

This post is an opinion piece from Oliver TUFFT, Product Manager at Unbox.


A new report from the UNFCCC has shown that countries are moving in the right direction in terms of flattening the curve of greenhouse gas emissions. However, progress is not being made fast enough to limit global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) by the end of the century. It appears that countries are facing diminishing marginal returns when it comes to committing finance to reducing emissions. From an extremely carbon-intensive baseline, that most countries find themselves in, it is relatively straightforward to reduce emissions with the first tranches of investment through clean technology investment and commitment to improved public transport in cities, for example. The problem comes after these initial strides are made. The capital from governments is available, though it is not always so obvious where this capital can be deployed to create the largest nature-positive impact – largely due to poor or differentiated data when it comes to impacts on nature.

A related, and equally important, challenge is that individuals do not know what to do either. While governments fret about where to spend their money, citizens find themselves trying to figure out what the most eco-friendly route to work, family dinner or shopping choice is until they become utterly confused and demotivated to act at all. In most countries there is a real community spirit, a real consensus, that something needs to be done. On this we can agree. However, there is less of a consensus on what that something is. Partially due to the overwhelming amount of information on social media, people find themselves in analysis paralysis unable to decide who or what to believe. As a result, it is not hard to see why people become so disenfranchised with the fight against climate change and lose hope.

We need governments to assist the communities that exist to make a change; that are unhappy with business as usual and the status quo. Really, they make the perfect team; governments have the money and their citizens have the desire, the thirst and the drive to leave this planet a better place than it is now (and a much better place than what it could become if we continue with business as usual).

Unbox ESG has been created to unite these two, often opposed, stakeholders. In the spirit of Community Tech, Unbox ESG will leverage proprietary networks of Central Bank Digital Currencies and other Digital Currencies (such as KBC’s Kate Coin) and use them as collateral for the creation and redemption of Unbox’ Ucoin. The Ucoin, which can be thought of as money with a conscience, is programmed such that it can only be transferred to or redeemed at merchants or projects that have been pre-audited and verified, not just carbon-negative but, planet-positive. Within our ESG Closed-Loop we hope to amass a variety of projects that will allow governments and large corporates to mobilise their capital and help us limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and return nature to its former glory. Examples of these projects range from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to Nature-Based Solutions such as Rewilding and Permaculture. Through making use of the Ucoin, governments and large corporates do not need to waste resources creating their own platforms, their own networks or auditing capital flows and projects. They can commit more resources to where it is needed most. Unbox’ pre-audit, post-payment PaaS will provide funding parties with all the assurances needed to deploy the staggering amounts of capital needed to keep our planet hospitable for future generations.


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