Dense tropical rainforest undergrowth.

Cash vs. Climate – a Radical Webinar Recap

We’ve gone public with our Unconditional Cash Transfer pilot.

We have a mild obsession with cash.


The kind of cash that fights the climate crisis in simple and effective ways. Cash is a force for good in the right hands and it’s been the heart of what we do for 15 years. From funding projects and backing NGOs, to sending lump sums to fuel emergency responses. We’re not new to giving cash but we do have a new, radical approach to using it that we think will change the future of rainforest conservation.

Forget about the forest, focus on people

Mainstream conservation has largely failed to protect rainforest and the carbon stored in it because it has written people that live there, those that are best able to protect it, out of the story and worse. ‘Save the rainforest’, a message gone viral, was backed up by stories about jaguars and toucans rather than people, whilst household-name organisations evicted communities from their ancestral land to create protected areas. This kind of mainstream conservation is the reason we exist. To do things differently.

The 800 million people that live in rainforest are the best chance we have at protecting it. They receive less than 1% of the $600 billion people like you give to fund climate action. People in rainforest and the injustice they experience forms the backbone of our new approach.

We all have the right to a dignified life.

Don’t we? Well, with no cash, freedom or choice and because of degraded, deforested rainforest, people that live there aren’t able to live one. A lack of food security, land rights and little opportunity, structural racism and even violence too contribute to a loss of control. With no local control, rainforest suffers.

Cash breaks the cycle of suffering.

Our simple idea breaks the conventions of the usual cash approaches because it leans not just on many cutting edge studies supporting Indigenous-led conservation but on something we feel the world as a whole can lack. Trust. We trust people to use cash how they see fit.

The idea? Unconditional Cash Transfers

The smartest, most scalable and most effective climate action coming this decade. Unconditional cash transfers are exactly that. No strings cash for people living in rainforest to be spent on and invested in things we could never have thought of. It will create autonomy, speed and choice. The action needed to protect rainforest.

Each community we work with is unique but cash is universal. What we’ve learned in 15 years has led to this idea and we are proud to announce that the pilot will launch in the Peruvian Amazon in 2023.

More than an idea

300 people, a whole village will receive a daily cash payment of $2.15 – transferred monthly – for the next two years. That’s more or less enough for three meals for a family of four easing the financial pressure that so often leads to rainforest deforestation.

We know that cash isn’t a silver bullet solution to the climate crisis but we hope to prove to the world that cash can be an incredibly powerful tool to support those who will come up with those solutions.

Back Unconditional Cash Transfers, back people, back the protection of rainforest

We hope this first pilot will lead to new relationships in the climate community, those that will take this idea further than we can imagine to ensure climate finance and a future flows to people in rainforest.

Watch the webinar here: