Solar Dollars: How To Make Money Fighting Against Climate Change


Erica Sánchez

The Solar Dollars project won the Judges Choice 2015 MIT Climate Colab contest. And it has its reasons. This project is actually a currency for the people: to be issued as a reward for climate mitigation.

How does the Solar Dollars project work? Global 4C (Complementary Currencies for Climate Change) is a new international climate mitigation policy that adopts a risk management framework. Global 4C offers a financial reward for mitigation and aims to internalize a Risk Cost of Carbon (RCC) into the economy.

The Solar Dollar (SOL) is a world currency for a cohesive social-and-environmental movement that will change everything. The new currency will avoid political delay and will change the global economy to address the true Social Cost of Carbon (SCC). SOL is 'money', but unlike traditional banking, SOL will be issued as debt-free rewards for the proven mitigation and sequestration of greenhouse gases. SOL will incentivize technological innovation and adoption.

SOL is a digital currency traded over the Internet and mobile phones using the Bitcoin Blockchain. SOL will be issued by licensed auditors who will receive data from participating enterprises and will undertake assessments based on statistical rules. The mitigation data will be deposited in a global public database for transparency and improved market efficiency.

  • SOL will aggregate with carbon taxes to reduce greenhouse pollution 

  • SOL will complement existing carbon markets (cap-and-trade) 

  • SOL are not carbon credits

  • SOL will not pay twice for carbon offsets

Their vision: to offer SOL rewards to enterprises of all sizes, in all sectors of the economy (energy, industry, domestic, agriculture, etc), and in all geographic locations (local to global).  

Can we start using this system? We still need to wait. The phases are:

Stage 1 is launched by a private consortium. New legislation is not needed, and this avoids political delay. SOL issuance and trading will grow rapidly as a global movement at the nexus of economic and environmental issues. 

Stage 2 begins when enough people (50-100 million) buy SOL to create a political tipping-point for U.N. negotiations. 

Stage 3 will involve 100+ years of carbon debt de-leveraging and a new monetary paradigm.

Interested in this project? Click here for more information.