- Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.
- According to Alibaba’s corporate news site Alizila, Ant Group will set up a “carbon-neutrality fund which will finance the research and development of renewable technologies and other innovations to curb climate change” and will explore the use of blockchain “to record and track its carbon-reduction progress.” Further financial details were not disclosed.
- The Hangzhou-based company will also consider investing in carbon offsets, “such as tree plantation or forest management projects.”
Why it matters:
Ant Group is the company behind the ubiquitous Alipay mobile wallet, the world’s biggest online payments platform with a reported 1.3 billion users globally as of July last year.
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In 2016 it launched Ant Forest, which rewards Alipay users with virtual points for reducing their carbon footprints by taking choices such as recycling their household waste, paying utility bills online rather than in person, or walking instead of driving. Users can redeem their points for actual trees that Ant Group and its NGO partners plant on their behalf in areas in China suffering from deforestation or soil erosion.