Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Jose Lindo, CEO of Climatecoin.
1. What’s the history of Climatecoin? How and where did you begin?
JL: All the co-founders of Climatecoin studied blockchain and carbon markets thoroughly during the last decade with a shared concerned about climate change. We believe that nature, which is essential for human well-being, deserves to be protected by the citizens of the Earth.
One day, we decided that we should come up with a product that combined both of those interests. In the following weeks, we came up with the idea of using a cryptocurrency to democratize carbon markets, allowing anyone in the world to do something for the survival of the planet while obtaining an economic return.
Our vision was very ambitious, however, we assembled the team to start the development of the Climatecoin Foundation in the Crypto Valley in Zug (Switzerland). After two years of non-stop work, the Climatecoin CO2 token is now a reality.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Jose Lindo, CEO
Over the last decade, I have been working as fundraiser and advisor for the United Nations, NGOs and governments. I’ve managed a large number of institutional and fundraising campaigns which preserve natural resources. One of the most successful campaigns was Plant for the Planet by UNEP, inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.
Juan Boluda, COO
An experienced business manager. Along with Jose, both have a long track record in business management and startups.
The rest of the key team members are:
James Haft, Chairman of Climatecoin’s Board of Directors
Ana Karen Zapata, Expert Marketing Manager, CMO
David Ortega, Well-versed Programmer, Ethereum Specialist, CTO
Andrey Khomutov, Investor Relations for the Russian market
Recently, Climatecoin has incorporated Doctor Michele Stua and Mr. Wayne Sharpe as a Board Advisors member. Michele Stua is one of the biggest experts and researcher on carbon credits in the world. Wayne Sharpe is the Executive Chairman & Founder of the Global Environment Markets and Carbon Trade ExChange (CTX). He was a pioneer and remains one of the most respected professionals in the carbon market and emissions trading.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
JL: Today, the science is unequivocal: Humans have been driving global warming through the extensive burning of fossil fuels. We are already seeing changes in the climate that our current economies were built on. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years since record-keeping began over 130 years ago have been since the turn of this century. The intensity of extreme weather-related events has also increased.
Climate Change and the conservation of ecosystems have tried to be solved from an ethical perspective during the past 50 years. That solution has not been enough and this was reflected in UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Pollution grows much faster than sustainability projects. For that reason, an economic solution was designed.
The first major initiative was Kyoto and the carbon emissions market. The countries and companies that pollute would pay an economic price and those that are more sustainable would charge it. This has not been exactly the case, and an improvement in these mechanisms was needed, as well as the compensation of emissions to society as a whole.
In the near future is unavoidable that we will have a direct relationship between the people of the first world who wants to compensate for their emissions and the people who lead the sustainable projects of the developing countries. We will work so that the poorest, who are not to blame for climate change, are not the first to suffer it. We will progressively break the inequality gap thanks to a digital, ecological and economic revolution: the Crypto Carbon Revolution.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
JL: The Climatecoin CO2 token is a unique cryptocurrency based in Ethereum that allows any citizen in the world to participate in the fight against climate change. It utilizes blockchain technology for that purpose and it will be stapled to a carbon credits pool, becoming the first carbon neutral cryptocurrency in the world.
Climatecoin, presents itself as a Token-as-a-Service business model, which allows contributors to purchase a token, stapled to a carbon credit certificate (giving it floor value) that will permit to buy/exchange carbon credits of different nature and make payments for environmental products. Thanks to a forward-thinking strategic partnership with Carbon Trade ExChange (CTX), e currently compensate our emissions by purchasing carbon credits (CERs) verified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to our CTX partner. And from now on, we will create a pool of different carbon credits thanks to the purchase of Climatecoin CO2 tokens, in this way increasing the value of the cryptocurrency. All this, thanks to the rise of the intrinsic value of the pool of carbon credits. A price today is around 5$ but the Paris Agreement concluded that a $40 to $80 a ton range in 2020, rising to $50 to $100 a ton by 2030, would be consistent with the Paris target.
In addition to the sale of Climatecoin CO2 tokens and carbon credits, Climatecoin Foundation is developing and launch the biggest peer to peer, decentralized, blockchain based carbon credits trading portal in the world, so every citizen and corporation will be able to buy and trade credits from our Climatecoin Carbon Portal, selecting the source of product and transferring funds directly to the producer through our token, creating a whole new and mutually profitable economic ecosystem based on carbon offset pricing and aimed to tackle down climate change and its consequences, FOREVER.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
JL: The OCDE estimates that around 103 trillion USD of cumulate investment between 2016 to 2030 is needed to mitigate climate change, so that means big profits for all carbon offsetting related business.
An IFC report launched in November shows that the historic global agreement on Climate Change adopted in Paris helped open up nearly $23 trillion in opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between now and 2030.
The carbon pricing leadership coalition concludes that a well-designed carbon price is an indispensable part of a strategy for efficiently reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also fostering growth. It states that a strong and predictable carbon-price trajectory provides a powerful signal to individuals and firms that the future is low carbon, inducing the changes needed in global investment, production, and consumption patterns.