Digital payment service based on cryptocurrency Ripple has undertaken a $44 million joint environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment in one of Nelnet’s solar energy funds with Nelnet Renewable Energy, a unit of Nelnet (NYSE: NNI).
We’re proud to announce our partnership with @Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions, on a $44 million joint investment in solar energy projects estimated to offset over 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over 35 years.https://t.co/ztZHljxaDp pic.twitter.com/v1HXHP691q
— Nelnet Renewable Energy (@NelnetSolar) October 11, 2021
Ripple and Nelnet launch $44M fund for the carbon-negative crypto industry
According to the announcement, the new fund will offset approximately 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 35 years, which is comparable to the annual energy use of 180,635 residences.
The S&P Global rating evaluation board awarded Nelnet Inc. and E1 ESG accreditation in March 2021 for the former’s $9.9 million solar tax equity fund. The initiative involves providing financial support for the construction of four photovoltaic solar installations in Upstate New York.
Ken Weber, Head of Social Impact at Ripple said, “Guaranteeing a clean energy future is a major priority across every industry, not only to drive future economic growth but also to ensure a more sustainable world. We’re excited to work with Nelnet as we pursue our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of financial services globally and to deliver on the promise of carbon-negative cryptocurrency industry.”
Weber told Cointelegraph in October 2020 that Ripple is environmentally concerned about purchasing carbon offsets and adopting sustainable products and services, as well as investing in carbon-removal technology. At the same time, the corporation announced its aim to achieve carbon net-zero status by 2030.
Ripple joined the Crypto Climate Accord in April 2021, an initiative inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement that has brought together a group of 20 companies from the crypto, finance, technology, and energy sectors to rally behind the goals of transitioning all blockchains to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and making the crypto space carbon-neutral by 2040.
The Crypto Climatic Accord, which was announced in April this year and is said to be inspired by the 195-signatory Paris Climate Agreement, attempts to address the “huge and growing energy consumption of cryptocurrency and blockchain, as well as the climate impact of their energy use.”
The group’s partners include high-profile crypto firms like Ripple, Canadian mining firm Hut 8, digital asset investment firm CoinShares, Ethereum software company Consensys, and others. It was founded by the Energy Web Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation.
Zhou gave his thoughts on cryptocurrency and blockchain companies implementing open, transparent, and accountable carbon tracking and reporting systems:
“In order to achieve our goal of cultivating a healthy planet through green technologies, we intend to demonstrate that a blockchain platform can support green business and be a truly sustainable foundation on which enterprises can construct their smart contract solutions.”
VeChain recently released a report detailing the carbon footprint of the entire VeChainThor public blockchain network, stating that “the total carbon emissions generated by VeChainThor per year is around 4.58 metric tonnes, approximately 2.4 percent of the carbon emissions generated for mining a single Bitcoin”.
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