The future of blockchain-based carbon credits is in doubt, but there is a new standard of biodiversity and carbon credits. The new standard comes from Single.Earth, which just emerged from stealth with a team of more than 20 scientists looking to figure out the shortcomings of carbon credits.
Single.Earth emerged out of the understanding that classic carbon credits might help with climate change but not biodiversity. Moreover, big carbon credit programs refuse tokenization. That left the market wide open for Single.Earth’s nature-backed MERIT token, which helps make nature protection profitable and accessible.
With the MERIT token, small landowners gain access to the nature-based services market, which might have been out of reach before. In fact, the token and platform have already seen significant interest before their public release, including:
- 1,500+ landowners pre-registered to get early access to Single.Earth
- 7,600+ buyers on the waitlist to buy MERIT
- 1M+ hectares (2.4M acres) of land added to the platform in the first five weeks
The MERIT token is more than just access, though. It has been designed to reflect the value of nature on each piece of land on Earth, attracting investor interest and holding true worth.
Andrus Aaslaid, CTO and co-founder of Single.Earth, explained, “We have created a Digital Twin of no less than a planet that reflects the ecosystem services value of each piece of land on earth.”
He continued, “We are one of the few companies today that knows how much forest there is on the planet and how much carbon these forests are sequestering at any time. That’s a good start. That’s enough to start trading with the outcome of those models and have the people that ‘own’ the trees and species to be rewarded for being good guardians of them.”
But the token takes things even further, moving past classic carbon instruments by looking beyond the forests and the carbon they sequester and paying attention to the species and habitats. Single.Earth believes that the climate crises cannot be considered without also considering biodiversity loss, seeing them as interconnected issues.
That is where the MERIT token truly comes into play. The founders, Merit Valdsalu and Andrus Aaslaid, are looking to protect nature by making saving forests as profitable as cutting them down. That incentivizes landowners and pays them for doing nothing as long as the natural resources on the land remain in good health.
The tokens are issued based on the ecological value of the land, with a single MERIT token equaling 100kg of CO2 captured in biodiverse nature. And in the next iteration, Single.Earth plans to take other parameters into account.
The current investors include EQT Ventures, Icebreaker.VC, Ragnar Sass, and Martin Henk, founders of Pipedrive.