Carbon Offset Investing?

As per this Climate Change Youtube Video at about 14mins in mentioned something that piqued my interest. Investing in Solar for developing countries can make a huge difference in terms of reducing carbon emissions and a tonne of carbon is a tonne of carbon! Also it improves the standard of living for people, helps education and can give a return on investment. That makes it a triple WIN if not more!

A swift bit of research and on  TRINE which was linked in the video sources and it has existed for a few years, there are some news stories of successful investments and it appears to be genuine. 

As per ANY investing thing, due diligence is always advised and if I am honest, this is probably one of the riskier ideas in terms of capitalist ideals. Whilst Trine exists as a platform/company i'm not sure you have much comeback on them, pretty much like kickstarter, they are a facilitator and the loan becomes between you and the 3rd party. They rate them which is probably better than kickstarter but capital is at risk and whilst the return is fair, you can probably do better and safer elsewhere. 

DON'T invest with them if you can not afford to loose the money. Personally the return would be nice, but I've got other investments for the sake of financial stability and my future, I'm thinking of this mainly from the Carbon Offset idea. Getting the loan back will be nice, interest will be better, but they are the icing on the cake and not the actual cake here!

Unlike a LOT of carbon offsetting things, this is not buying rights to something that is already being done, such as the rights to trees being already planted.  This is actually making a difference and also making a difference to peoples lives and arguably a tonne of carbon saved anywhere is tonne of carbon. This may be one of the quickest and most efficient ways to make a significant reduction!

So i signed up. It takes a few days and you need various bits of information along with a photo of your passport, but i'm now live!

At the moment there are a few schemes available to invest in one in Kenya, one in Guatemala and two in Nigeria. The loan terms vary from 12-36 months and interest ranging  between 5-11%. A larger investment in a riskier venture gains more interest.

As a side note Trine is a European company and as such the investments are in Euros. I've a Revolut account which i've had for a few years, mainly for travel, but one of the features is FREE international bank transfers and you get the bank rate for conversion. You can use a card for Trine, but i'd expect to get hammered with charges and a poor exchange rate, using Revolut whilst adding a couple of extra steps (bank transfer/card to Revolut, convert, bank transfer to Trine)

Because of this extra complexity I initially decided to invest a small amount to test the transfer process, if i got the numbers wrong and had to chase funds, doing this with a small amount made sense. I also found a referral link in my research which gave me €10, though that's more from an investing point of view.

So yeah here's my basic test with €50 - It took a couple of days for the funds to come through but all looks good and now the account is set-up it is easy to transfer other funds across.

€50 (or €40 / £34) isn't a lot of money but that's 347kg of CO2 avoided and this was just a test to see how it works.

This investment is £130 per tonne, which is pretty high, but it's A rated, lower risk and helping private individuals
One of the higher risk business loans over 3years with a nice 7.5% is actually just over £5 per tonne!!!

Now that's got to be worth a small speculative "gift"

To be honest I'm tempted to try relatively small funds (~€100) in each of the projects, sure big amounts get a better return, but risk and i'm a big proponent of lots of small eggs in many baskets. I'll report back on that idea once set-up!

BTW Here is myy referal link worth €10 to both of us! - It's not the reason i'm recommending this though
Also a historical example investment from Trine in Pakistan 2018

Carbon Running Totals
Start :15.9     
Goal:10.5 or less    Previous:14.13    Saving:0.35     New total :13.78


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