Ecosia uses 100 percent of its profits to reforest the planet and fight the climate crisis. Thus far, the company has spent over 7 million euros on solar power since 2017 which enables all of its users’ searches to be powered by 200 percent renewable energy as part of its mission to be carbon negative. In March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ecosia invested an additional 20 million euros into solar projects in Germany to highlight the need and opportunity for Europe to move away from dependence on fossil fuels.
Beyond its own investments, Ecosia is also calling on like-minded businesses to join it in investing in the green energy transition to expedite the over-reliance on fossil fuels across the UK and Europe to build a climate safe future.
Ecosia has long had a presence in the UK, with 2 million active users who have planted millions of trees both around the world, and in the UK, by using the search engine.
Ecosia’s ability to support renewable projects in the UK followed Ripple’s opening of the UK’s first consumer-owned wind farm in Coedely, South Wales. The wind farm was crowdfunded in 2021 by 907 people who raised £2.2 million for its development. They each get their share of the wind farm’s output with savings applied to their electricity bill as a result. It is estimated that Ripple members will save about 25 percent on their energy bill for the wind farm's 25-year lifespan. Ecosia will now buy a share of Ripple’s third project which over 7,000 people across the UK have already reserved their place in.
Even before the geopolitical events of the past year, the growing fuel crisis that has been affecting both the UK and Europe caused the import price for fossil fuel energy to more than double between December 2020 and December 2021. In total, Europe spent 78 billion euros on gas imports in the first half of 2022, a fivefold increase.
In contrast, renewable energy such as wind and solar is largely insulated from external geopolitical threats. Moreover, investments in renewable energy within Europe are estimated to lead to savings of almost 2 trillion euros from not importing fossil fuels, as well as preventing 60 billion tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. If $25 billion was invested annually by businesses around the world in renewable energy, this would help speed up global transitions to greener energy and help limit the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.
With the window of time for adaptation in the face of the climate crisis rapidly closing, delaying the transition to green energy and the associated reduction of carbon emissions will result in irreversible consequences for the world.
Ecosia’s call for other businesses to join in investing proactively into renewable energy therefore comes at a crucial time. A recent reversal of the Government’s attempts to block onshore wind in the UK and with energy prices continuing to rise, a significant opportunity now exists for new consumer-owned wind farms which enable people and businesses to benefit by receiving lower bills and green energy directly.
For these reasons, and in the run up to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh this November, Ecosia is now calling on the private sector to take urgent steps to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy through green investments.
“We’re delighted to partner with Ripple to demonstrate the benefits that renewables can have as a local, low-cost and green source of energy for consumers and businesses alike” said Sophie Dembinski, Head of Policy & UK at Ecosia. “It’s clear that this Government is prepared to allow fossil fuel companies line their pockets with profits of historic proportions while millions of UK citizens fall into an energy crisis and ultimately irreversible climate crisis. In the absence of effective political leadership on energy and climate policy, we urge other like-minded businesses and organisations to join us in being part of the solution and to reach out for more information if you’d like to know how to join this effort.”
Sarah Merrick, Founder & CEO at Ripple, added that there’s never been a better time for consumers to own a bit of a renewable energy project - be it a wind farm or solar park.
“It can help protect them from spiralling power prices, as well as shrink their carbon footprint” said Ms Merrick. “We’re delighted that a global green tech company like Ecosia has recognised the value of what we’re doing. It’s great to have them on board. We can’t wait to work more closely together and bring democratically owned, affordable green energy to even more people.”
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