Economics of Global Funds: United Nations Specialized Funds and Other Crypto, Crowdfunding, Green Funds

  • S. Niggol Seo


This final chapter of the book expands the discussion of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to other global funds. Four important old and new global funds are reviewed: United Nations funds and specialized programs, crowdfunding, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and various green funds such as the European Union’s CO2 permit. The review shows that many UN specialized programs share similar characteristics with the GCF and have overlapping areas of funding. The GCF is a type of crowdfunding for the global climate programs in which member nations are donors, but a majority of the crowdfunding projects are politically motivated appealing to a certain segment of the society. The Bitcoin system is transparent in creating and determining the value of a bitcoin through currency exchanges, but the GCF system relies on the GCF Board’s implicit determination of the value of a ton of CO2-equivalent emissions. Many green funds such as the EU’s emission trading scheme or the sulfur dioxide allowance trading in the US can be adapted to match the GCF’s project funding allocations, but the global scope of the GCF works would still remain the biggest challenge. Many important lessons can be learned from the past experiences of the green funds, which would augment the importance of the economic concepts presented in this book.


United Nations Specialized funds Crowdfunding Bitcoin Green funds Emissions trading scheme 


  1. Adams R, Rosenzweig C, Peart RM, Ritchie JT, McCarl BA, Glyer JD, Curry RB, Jones JW, Boote KJ, Allen LH (1990) Global climate change and US agriculture. Nature 345:219–224Google Scholar
  2. (2018) Markets. Available at Accessed 8 May 2018
  3. Böhme R, Christin N, Edelman B, Moore T (2015) Bitcoin: economics, technology, and governance. J Econ Perspect 29:213–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christin N (2013) Traveling the Silk Road: a measurement analysis of a large online anonymous marketplace. In: Proceedings of the 22nd international world wide web conference (WWW’13), pp 213–24. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2013Google Scholar
  5. CNBC (2018) The most influential endowment manager just jumped into crypto with bets on two Silicon Valley funds. Oct 5, 2018, CNBC. Accessed from
  6. Douglas WO, Bates GE (1933) The Federal Securities Act of 1933. Yale Law J 43(2):171–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dudal R (1980) Soil-related constraints to agricultural development in the tropics. International Rice Research Institute, Los BanosGoogle Scholar
  8. Ellerman AD, Buchner BK (2007) The European Union emissions trading scheme: origins, allocations, and early results. Rev Environ Econ Policy 1:66–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ellerman AD, Marcantonini C, Zaklan A (2016) The European Union emissions trading system: ten years and counting. Rev Environ Econ Policy 10:89–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. European Commission (EC) (2016) EU ETS Handbook. European Commission, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischer G, Shah M, Tubiello FN, van Velhuizen H (2005) Socio-economic and climate change impacts on agriculture: an integrated assessment, 1990–2080. Philos Trans R Soc B 360:2067–2083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) (2012) Global agro-ecological zones (GAEZ v3. 0) model documentation. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  13. Fox News (2018) Haley announces $285M cut in 2018–19 UN operating budget. Accessed from
  14. Freeman DM, Nutting MR (2015) A brief history of crowdfunding including rewards, donation, debt, and equity platforms in the USAGoogle Scholar
  15. GoFundMe (2017) GoFundMe 2017: a year in giving. The GoFundMe, Red Wood City, California. Accessed from
  16. GoFundMe (2018) How GoFundMe works. The GoFundMe, Red Wood City, California. Accessed from
  17. Green Climate Fund (GCF) (2011) Governing instrument for the green climate fund. GCF, Songdo CityGoogle Scholar
  18. Green Climate Fund (GCF) (2018a) Annex III: investment framework. GCF, Songdo CityGoogle Scholar
  19. Green Climate Fund (GCF) (2018b) Annex IX: results management framework. GCF, Songdo CityGoogle Scholar
  20. Green Climate Fund (GCF) (2018c) Projects + programmes. GCF, Songdo City. Accessed from Google Scholar
  21. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) (2018) ICE futures Europe: EUA futures. The ICE, Atlanta. Accessed from Google Scholar
  22. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2014) Climate change 2014: the physical science basis. The fifth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (2016) Carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA). ICAO, MontrealGoogle Scholar
  24. Investopedia (2018) Bitcoin total value to hit $1.2T in’18: Fundstrat. Accessed from
  25. Liu Y, Tsyvinski A (2018) Risks and returns of cryptocurrency. NBER working paper no. 24877. NBER, BostonGoogle Scholar
  26. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) (2017) International financial report. The MSF, Geneva, p 2017Google Scholar
  27. Meiklejohn S, Pomarole M, Jordan G, Levchenko K, McCoy D, Voelker GM, Savage S (2013) A fistful of bitcoins: characterizing payments among men with no names. In: Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Internet Measurement Conference, Barcelona, Spain, pp 127–140Google Scholar
  28. Mendelsohn R, Williams L (2007) Dynamic forecasts of the sectoral impacts of climate change. In: Schlesinger M, Kheshgi H, Smith J, de la Chesnaye F, Reilly JM, Wilson T, Kolstad C (eds) Human-induced climate change: an interdisciplinary assessment. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  29. Mollick ER (2015) Delivery rates on Kickstarter (December 4, 2015). Available at SSRN:
  30. Montgomery WD (1972) Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs. J Econ Theory 5:395–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nakamoto S (2008) Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer electronic cash system. Available at Accessed May 5 2018
  32. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) (2017) Valuing climate damages: updating estimation of the social cost of carbon dioxide. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. National Post (2018) Here are the top five GoFundMe campaigns. Published on April 11, 2018. Accessed from
  34. Nordhaus W (1991) To slow or not to slow: the economics of the greenhouse effects. Econ J 101:920–937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nordhaus W (2007) To tax or not to tax: alternative approaches to slowing global warming. Rev Environ Econ Policy 1:26–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nordhaus W (2014) Estimates of the social cost of carbon: concepts and results from the DICE-2013R model and alternative approaches. J Assoc Environ Resour Econ 1:273–312Google Scholar
  37. Pareto V (1906) In: Montesano A, Zanni A, Bruni L, Chipman JS, McLure M (eds) Manual for political economy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, (2014)Google Scholar
  38. Parry ML, Rosenzweig CP, Iglesias A, Livermore M, Fischer G (2004) Effects of climate change on global food production under SRES emissions and socioeconomic scenarios. Glob Environ Chang 14:53–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Reddit (2018) Bitcoin puzzles. Accessed from
  40. Ricardo D (1817) On the principles of political economy and taxation. John Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Samuelson P (1954) The pure theory of public expenditure. Rev Econ Stat 36:387–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schlenker W, Roberts M (2009) Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to crop yields under climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(37):15594–15598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schmalensee R, Stavins RN (2013) The SO2 allowance trading system: the ironic history of a grand policy experiment. J Econ Perspect 27:103–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Seo SN (2006) Modeling farmer responses to climate change: climate change impacts and adaptations in livestock management in Africa. PhD Dissertation, Yale University, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  45. Seo SN (2010a) A microeconometric analysis of adapting portfolios to climate change: adoption of agricultural systems in Latin America. Appl Econ Perspect Policy 32:489–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Seo SN (2010b) Is an integrated farm more resilient against climate change? A micro-econometric analysis of portfolio diversification in African agriculture. Food Policy 35:32–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Seo SN (2011) An analysis of public adaptation to climate change using agricultural water schemes in South America. Ecol Econ 70:825–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Seo SN (2014) Evaluation of Agro-Ecological Zone methods for the study of climate change with micro farming decisions in sub-Saharan Africa. Eur J Agron 52:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Seo SN (2015) Helping low-latitude poor countries with climate change. Regulation 38(4):6–8. Winter 2015–2016Google Scholar
  50. Seo SN (2016a) Microbehavioral econometric methods: theories, models, and applications for the study of environmental and natural resources. Academic/Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  51. Seo SN (2016b) Modeling farmer adaptations to climate change in South America: a micro-behavioral economic perspective. Environ Ecol Stat 23:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Seo SN (2017a) Beyond the Paris agreement: climate change policy negotiations and future directions. Reg Sci Policy Pract 9:121–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Seo SN (2017b) The behavioral economics of climate change: adaptation behaviors, global public goods, breakthrough technologies, and policy-making. Academic/Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  54. Seo SN, Mendelsohn R (2008) Measuring impacts and adaptations to climate change: a structural Ricardian model of African livestock management. Agric Econ 38:151–165Google Scholar
  55. Shiller RJ (2006) Irrational exuberance, 2nd edn. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  56. Shiller RJ (2009) The subprime solution: how today’s global financial crisis happened, and what to do about it. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  57. Shiller RJ (2018) The old allure of new money. Project Syndcate. May 21, 2018Google Scholar
  58. Statistica (2018) Number of successfully funded projects on as of April 2018, by project category. Statistica, Hamburg. Available at
  59. Stavins R (2007) A US Cap-and-Trade system to address global climate change. Hamilton project discussion paper 2007–13Google Scholar
  60. Tol RSJ (2009) The economic effects of climate change. J Econ Perspect 23:29–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tzu Chi (2018) About Tzu Chi. Accessed from
  62. United Nations (1945) Charter of the United Nations and statue of the international court of justice. UN, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  63. United Nations (1972) Report of the United Nations conference on human environment. Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  64. United Nations (2017) Assessment of Member States’ advances to the Working Capital Fund for the biennium 2018–2019 and contributions to the United Nations regular budget for 2018. Secretariat, United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  65. United Nations (2018) United Nations peacekeeping: how we are funded. Accessed from
  66. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2018a) Emergency and disaster relief. The UNICEF, New York. Accessed from Google Scholar
  67. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2018b) UNICEF integrated budget 2018–2021. The UNICEF, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  68. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (2018) Our funding: top contributors. UNDP, New York. Accessed from Google Scholar
  69. United Nations Environment Programme (2017) The emissions gap report 2017: a UN environment synthesis report. UNEP, NairobiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2018) Annual Report 2017. UNEP, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  71. United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) (2016) The Kigali amendment: the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. UNEP, KigaliGoogle Scholar
  72. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (1992) United Nations framework convention on climate change. UNFCCC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  73. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (1997) Kyoto protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. UNFCCC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  74. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2009) Copenhagen Accord. UNFCCC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2011) Report of the transitional committee for the design of Green Climate Fund. UNFCCC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  76. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2015) The Paris agreement. In: Conference of the Parties (COP) 21. UNFCCC, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  77. United Nations System Chief Executive Board (UNSCEB) (2018) UN system. UN, New York. Accessed from
  78. World Food Programme (WFP) (2018a) Overview. The WFP, Rome, Italy. Accessed from
  79. World Food Programme (WFP) (2018b) Contributions to WFP in 2017. The WFP, Rome, Italy. Accessed from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Niggol Seo
    • 1
  1. 1.Muaebak Institute of Global Warming StudiesSeorim-dong, Gwanak-gu, SeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations