The COOLCROWD project has explored the possibility of offsetting carbon emissions from transport through crowdfunding of climate measures on Norwegian farms. The project has been a prototype study over four years, which has explored farmers' interest in participating in a local crowdfunding program, and the willingness of private people to pay for more local, crowdfunded climate measures. The project has also examined the legal framework for a local crowdfunding program of climate measures in agriculture in Norway.
An important research finding is that both farmers and private people lack knowledge of crowdfunding. Furthermore, the effect of various climate measures in agriculture varies and the general public lacks knowledge of the most effective measures, which may reduce the willingness to crowdfund these. Although individuals were the original target group in the project, it turned out that companies can contribute large resources to local crowdfunding. The legal context, as well as the limited capacity of many relevant business partners, makes it necessary to either establish a COOLCROWD organization as an intermediary, to connect farmers and contributors, or to offer COOLCROWD as a service within an existing crowdfunding platform. Business partners from the project can play an active role in promoting and marketing the concept.
The project concludes with six recommendations for possible implementation of a local public funding system. 1.) More knowledge is needed about crowdfunding in Norway, especially in agriculture. 2.) Unknown climate measures in agriculture must be communicated in an understandable way to individuals and companies in order to create interest. 3.) More research is needed that examines companies' opportunities as contributors. 4.) To implement a local crowdfunding program, a cooperation is needed with agricultural advisory organizations for quality assurance of the climate projects and to gain access to data on climate emissions from the farms. 5.) It may be useful to conduct a pilot study to test the concept in practice. 6.) An organization (COOLCROWD AS) must be established to operate a local crowdfunding program or offer the COOLCROWD concept as a service within an existing crowdfunding platform. More information about COOLCROWD can be found here: https://coolcrowd.no/en/.
-Nytt forskningssamarbeid mellom Ruralis og andre nasjonale og internasjonale partnere
-Nytt samarbeid med næringslivet (brukergruppen fra transport-, landbruk-og folkefinansiering).
-Prosjektet har bidratt betydelig til mer kunnskap om folkefinansiering generelt, og om bærekraftig folkefinansiering
-Boka "Advances in Crowdfunding Research and Practice", hvor COOLCROWD har bidratt med et kapittel, har blitt lastet ned 100.000 ganger siden den ble publisert i 2020.
-Prosjektet satt i gang et ERASMUS+ program mellom HVL og TU/e
-Internasjonal utveksling av to sentrale forskere i prosjektet
-Utveksling av 2 masterstudenter fra TU/e til HVL og skriving av student -og masteroppgave
-3 måneders opphold for en masterstudent fra TU/e ved Ruralis
-Faglig kompetanseutvikling for en ung kvinnelig forsker, som prosjektleder
-Potensiell uttesting av COOLCROWD-prosjektet gjennom et pilotprosjektsøknad til NFR.
-Potensiell implementering av COOLCROWD gjennom brukerpartnere i prosjektet
Research on the barriers to climate friendly behavior suggests that behaviors to mitigate climate change are often not undertaken because the impacts of climate change are distant in space and time (Stoknes, 2014, Ryghaug et al. 2011). Thus, local relevancy is the key to communicating climate change issues (CRED, 2009; Stoknes, 2014). COOLCROWD will test the feasibility of a local crowdfunded climate program that works across the transport and agricultural sector. The purpose of COOLCROWD is to assess the potential for a locally crowdfunded system that enables Norwegian farmers to install climate-friendly technologies on their land and Norwegian public to invest in local climate mitigation measures when making use of different modes of transport.
By allowing people to fund investment in and interact with local Norwegian providers of the climate reduction measures, crowdfunding offers, in comparison to carbon credits that are distant in space and time, a real possibility of making climate reduction measures directly visible and relevant to their lives. Thus, a well-designed crowdfunding program will increase the transparency, trust and thus overall delivery potential of GHG reduction schemes as part of a mosaic of different approaches.
COOLCROWD contributes to Norway's goal to enable a rapid transition towards a low-emission society by 2050 (Meld.St. 13, 2014-2015), particularly the reduction of Norway's emissions of 40% by 2030 including agriculture and transport (Norwegian Government, 2016). Project results will also be relevant to the current legislative work on a new Climate Act in Norway with climate crowdfunding potentially included as a significant mitigation measure. The project will involve an international and interdisciplinary multi-sectoral research team that will strive towards the development of measures for the implementation of a crowdfunded approach in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.