COOLCROWD: Local crowdfunding for a low-emission society: Investigating the concept of local climate crowdfunding for Norway.
An increasing number of companies now offer carbon offsetting as a means of allowing the public to compensate for their use of fossil fuels. This involves the company contributing to the reduction in greenhouse gases, generally through the purchasing of climate credits. However, this investment is generally made in distant countries, meaning that individuals are unlikely to ever see any positive impacts. In comparison to carbon credits, we contend that local crowdfunding can make climate reduction projects directly visible and relevant to people’s lives – thus providing a greater motivation for investment.
In COOLCROWD, therefore, our international and interdisciplinary research team will test the feasibility of offsetting CO2 emissions from transport through crowdfunding of climate- friendly technologies on local farms. In collaboration with our industry partners from the transport sector, we propose making it possible for people to invest in local greenhouse gas reduction measures when purchasing goods and services – investments that have economic and environmental benefits for local communities as well as addressing climate change.
The project is a three-year proof of concept study in which we will establish the level of interest amongst the Norwegian public, the interest of farmers in partaking in climate crowdfunding schemes, and explore possible business models for local climate crowdfunding in Norway (including the legal framework). The project team consists of Ruralis, University of Oslo, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norwegian School of Economics, Norwegian Business School, Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture (NORSØK) and a number of international partners including Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Western Australia and University of Otago. The final outcome will be recommendations for implementing a locally crowdfunded climate project in Norway.