Green Fintech Insights | Marianne Haahr

May 31, 2020 | Jim Ottewill

Redsand Ventures hosted its first ever live Twitter Q&A during May with Marianne Haahr from the Green Digital Finance Alliance.

Marianne is director of the initiative, which was set up to use fintech to help realise the green ambitions of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

Previously, Marianne worked as an advisor to the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and an executive leader at Sustainia leading – a tech and sustainable think tank. Read our interview below.

Who are the founders of the Green Digital Finance Alliance and what were their objectives in setting it up?

The UN Environment Programme and Ant Financial Services Group are the co-founders of the initiative.

It was born out of the UN looking to meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically its green digital digital ambitions to help transform the financial services sector.

Our aim is to make every citizen on the planet a green asset owner, something we believe is only possible when incorporating fintech solutions. 

What are the three strategic pillars of the alliance? 

We work on policy engagement, network building and experimentation through innovation to scale. 

Our green fintech collaborations demonstrate not only what is possible but also push stakeholder thinking on how problems can be solved with ‘outside the box’ thinking. 

How does your work mapping fintech innovation aid policy makers in meeting the SDGs?

Policy makers gain insights on the state of the sustainable digital finance in their respective countries through our work. It means they can discover new avenues to innovate financing to help meet these aims. 

Policy makers also see ways to include green fintech within the implementation of their policies. 

How has the alliance supported green finance models by unlocking capital in certain markets?

A very specific example is the work to open a citizen green investing window between Africa and China. Programs were developed including our Earth Day 2020 project.

What tech is the biggest enabler to accelerate the adoption of digital green finance?

Blockchain is one of the most exciting technologies and has the potential to make green finance more efficient and to innovate new instruments. 

What are the consequences of private market players ignoring sustainable finance?

If they don’t embrace green finance, then the capital markets and retail finance will remain misaligned with the aspirations of citizens and politicians for a greener and safer future, a desire heightened by the current Covid 19 pandemic. 

The alliance undertook a project with Ant Forest on Earth Day 2020 to invest in rainforests. What was the main aim?

We felt it was an innovative way to bring the role of green finance to life. The initiative, which we aligned with Earth Day 2020, aimed to aid investments into protecting rainforests.  

How does the alliance engage with policy makers?

Policy makers get access to green fintech best practices and guidance on how to best design eco-systems for these to scale.  

Our aims are to educate on the opportunities for digital and sustainability to come together and policy direction. We want to help institutions align on certain standards around green and digital finance.

How can investors and innovators engage with the alliance?

Investors can engage with us to get insights on the green fintech pipeline.

Innovators can come to us to help establish relations with investors and policy makers. 

We are here to serve our stakeholders in order to realise a greener financial future. 

Visit greendigitalfinancealliance.org for more information.

Redsand Ventures will host its second Twitter Q&A with Gregor Vulturius, Head of Operations and Engagement at the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre, on Tuesday 16th June at 10:00 CET.

Follow Redsand Ventures on Twitter for the live interview.

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