The trillion dollar elephant in the room

March 2021

It's time for action!! It's been a busy 18 months building out our new impact investment arm Trillion. We've written a blog below on what we see as the main challenge. You can also watch our new Trillion intro video and connect with us if we can help with anything.

As we see it we can accept that we are going to miss every single climate-related target and UN SDG objective by 2030 OR we can refuse to accept that future and go absolutely all out to try and change the direction. That is what our team at Trillion is solely focused on - bridging the funding gap.

At Trillion we believe that we are now standing at a crossroads. We can double down on continuing in the wrong direction - OR we can come out of the pandemic with a renewed focus, direction and approach to joining forces and addressing the impact investment funding gap. 

It’s time to go a different way 

We’ve made a mess. There’s a lot to fix. Pick a topic. The difference is, we now have the tools to solve the problems, the only thing missing is capital. 

What will it take for us to come together? We have to take on the responsibility for future generations and reverse the damage wreaked upon our planet by our parents and grandparents' uninformed choices. 

Bridging the impact investment gap

We see bridging the multi-trillion-dollar funding gap for impact investment as the greatest challenge of the 21st century. We believe that we have to rise up out of the pandemic and come together to tackle the issues we face, together, with renewed focus and determination. 

The world has never felt so small. We are all collectively battling through something unprecedented at the exact same time. We will need to fight harder than ever before. The other option, which we do not accept, is to give up, refusing to even try and admitting defeat. The stakes are simply too high for us to allow that to happen.

We can do so much more working together

Challenge: When researching and assessing the true capital needs to be required globally, we could see that the current approaches being taken to bridge the impact funding gap are fragmented, siloed and unscalable. In terms of having any hope of actually achieving the UN SDG targets, it was clear that we are in deep trouble if drastic action is not taken. 

2021 can be a turning point for impact investment 

So, here we are. 2021. We have to think far bigger and be much bolder if we have any chance whatsoever of bridging the funding gap. We must think in trillions of dollars, not billions. This in itself is a massive challenge. It's really hard to grasp the difference between a million and a billion.

One way of looking at it in relation to time is to consider that a million seconds is around 11 days. A billion seconds is 31 years! So to understand that we need to find an estimated two to four thousand billion dollars in extra investment every year - for the next ten years - JUST to meet the UN SDGs funding gap - is really daunting. It’s too big a number. However, if we join the dots and work collectively towards these seemingly impossible goals then we can achieve anything we set our minds to. 

What are we going to do about it? 

So the not so inconspicuous elephant in the room is the funding gap, the trillions of dollars we need to find every single year. This is it, the biggest challenge. 

Collectively, we have to have far more ambition and move faster when deploying private and institutional capital. We can think big and aim impossibly high, that is one way we can turn this around. 

If we are currently projected to miss every single one of the UN SDGs targets alongside failing to hit any of the Renewable Energy & Climate Goals then what are we going to do about that? Drifting another ten years away with piecemeal efforts and inaction is not going to end well, for any of us. 

It’s time for action, not talk 

We see Impact Investment as the foundation upon which investors, cities, countries and companies can build together. The focus from the Trillion team is on deploying aggressive strategies to transition rapidly from fossil fuel to renewable energy, reverse mass extinction of our wildlife and habitats, prevent water and air pollution and to provide the food, housing, education, energy and infrastructure investment needed to achieve the UN SDGs by 2030. 

Private capital is the key to unlocking impact investment 

We have spent 18 months engaging with our investors and many of the top 100 wealthiest families, investment banks and investor groups around the world to discuss and assess their positions on impact. We have taken the time and effort to develop a deep understanding of their needs, framework, criteria and specific requirements for our private and institutional investor partners to be able to deploy capital faster. 

There is real interest and ambition from the majority of the investors we speak to in being a big part of the solution. So now truly it is the time to get this done. There are mountains of dry powder waiting on the sidelines to be deployed.   

Breaking through the bottlenecks in infrastructure financing 

With $323 trillion in private wealth alone, there is an abundance of capital available however we must break through the various bottlenecks in impact and development funding to allow it to flow.

Post pandemic the collective efforts from the global investment community could act as a catalyst for the largest wave of investment in history, which will sweep across the developed and emerging markets, delivering tangible & measurable impact while providing stable investment returns, based on standardised impact investment metrics, across all target sectors. 

This will give us at least a fighting chance of achieving the UN SDGs by 2030. 

It’s time to invest on a truly massive scale 

We have built out a broad global coalition consisting of experienced investors, entrepreneurs, advisors, partners and experts. Working together, anything is possible - we believe that, however, we will have to get beyond the constraints of working in competition - it is ultimately self-defeating when we are trying to deliver on the same goals. 

Many in the impact community understand the true scale of the challenge faced and while sobering to accept, we can push together for a massive deployment of capital, to be committed in a unified global effort to deploy funding, faster and more efficiently. 

We have the technology and expertise to fix the big problems

“In 2018 the world added more solar capacity than coal, gas, and nuclear plants combined,” said Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. 

"This shows where we are heading, although the fact that renewables altogether are still far from providing the majority of electricity means that we still have a long way to go.”

Fast forward a couple of years and we are seeing huge interest and investment in this asset class because it is here to stay, and tech development means a wide choice of proven technologies available to invest in. Now is the time to go all in. 

“The extraordinary surge in solar investment, around the world, shows how much can be achieved when we commit to growth without harming the environment,” said Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim. “By investing in renewables, countries can power new communities, improving the lives and livelihoods of the people who live in them, and at the same time cleaning up the air they breathe.”

Let’s get out of the silos and work together 

Getting out of the bunkers. We must and will get past competing against each other in a fragmented way and working in silos. We can join forces quickly where suitable and combine resources, data and access to capital and expertise. This approach will allow us to expand dramatically the amount of capital being deployed. 

Only with a partnership approach to funding impact can all groups benefit, we need not think about becoming billionaires, instead we must think about how we can help a billion people. Through our partnership program, we have formed alliances with top tier placement agents, rainmakers, introducers, brokers & intermediaries, all of whom believe in the vision and mission behind Fundsurfer & Trillion and what we are trying to achieve. 

Greed is not good

A clearly laid out understanding and framework around project fees for all parties upfront removes a lot of the problems seen within dealmaking across all sectors. It’s much better to close a deal and make less in fees than see countless numbers of deals crash on the rocks through greed and/or egos. At Trillion we believe it’s entirely possible to remove the negative competitive element if working in a transparent open way. There is a long way to go, however, there are promising signs around a more collaborative approach with dealmaking forming around impact. 

Let’s do this 

Now is our time. We encourage any potential investor, partner, developer or city/ country representative to contact me or the Trillion team directly and discuss how we can work together to bridge the funding gap, for everyone. 

There is simply no time left to lose.

Oliver Mochizuki

CEO & co-founder

Join the journey at Fundsurfer & Trillion

Fundsurfer is a funding and investment company based in Bristol & London. Trillion is our Impact Investment arm. The Trillion & Fundsurfer teams & partners are based in HK, LA, SF, NY, Bristol, London, Berlin, Singapore and Johannesburg. 

M: +44 07766012365 Office: +44 0208 895 6543

Meetings: Book a call with me