UN-backed app is transforming green finance

On 20 January during the World Economic Forum in Davos, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial) – China’s leading online and mobile financial services provider – unveiled the ‘Green Digital Finance Alliance’, an initiative to stimulate the advancement of digital technologies in green finance.

Ant Financial Services is the first Chinese company to drive a global public-private partnership.

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, said: “The Green Digital Finance Alliance is a unique partnership ensuring that we can align tomorrow’s fintech-powered (financial technology) global financial system with sustainable development.”

Through market innovation, collaborative action and public awareness, the initiative hopes to drive environmental risks, opportunities, incentives and choices into the decision-making across the financing value chain.

Ant Financial’s app – called Alipay – is a digital financial platform which provides users with a carbon account, in addition to their credit and saving accounts.

Ant’s 450 million users can benchmark their carbon footprint and earn “green energy” credits for reducing their footprint for example by taking public transport instead of driving.

In addition, Ant Financial has integrated this function into a social media experience, as well as committing to a complementary, tree-planting carbon offset programme.

Currently, there are 72 million users are participating in the app.

Eric Jing, Chief Executive Officer of Ant Financial, said: “Ant Financial is a strong believer in green finance. Several of our products and services have been contributing to sustainable development”.

He went on to say: “Leveraging mobile Internet, cloud computing and big data, we can encourage our hundreds of millions of users to participate in a green lifestyle…we hope that the Green Digital Finance Alliance will contribute to shaping and accelerating this development.”

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Image source: Ant Financial Services

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