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Letter to Mr. Elon Musk re: Decarbonization of Bitcoin trading and mining


CEO, CTO, Inventor, Philanthropist

Dear Mr. Musk;

NGO Forum on ADB[1]], a network of over 250 Asian civil society organizations (CSOs), would like to express our deepest gratitude to all sustainable technology and energy innovation that you have ventured on, carefully putting the planet and its people first.

Last 8 February, news reports stated that you have bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins and that your company will begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment in the near future[2]. This is a welcome change in the industry, but we hope you would be mindful of Bitcoin's impact on the environment.

The Bitcoin system's current design requires more electricity than is needed to power Denmark[3], it is energy-intensive, and given its expanding condition, the rise of Bitcoin mining may pose a threat to the environment. As the Bitcoin industry grows, the overall electricity consumption caused by every individual transaction will increase steeply. In China, for example, coal is the most significant source of electricity, which means more emissions; Digiconomist puts Bitcoin's annualized emissions at 37 million tons of carbon dioxide. Even the verification process needed to trade Bitcoin is also a polluting endeavor; needless to say, Bitcoin mining and trading might hinder attempts to conserve energy and combat climate change. By failing to regulate these overlooked costs to the environment, nations are practically subsidizing the polluters at public expense.

With these facts on hand, we urge you, Mr. Musk, to strongly engage in the decarbonization of Bitcoin mining and trading; and to promote environmentally sustainable applications of Blockchain without damaging the value of this growing sector. NGO Forum on ADB network hopes that there will be a switch to pollution-free power sources that are already available and likely to accelerate through your influence and leadership.


Mr. Rayyan Hassan

Executive Director

NGO Forum on ADB

Endorsed by:

350 Pilipinas, Philippines

Action Paysa ne Contre la Faim, DRC

Adarsha Samajik Progoti Sangstha ( ASPS), Bangladesh

Aksi for gender, social and ecological justice, Indonesia

Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment, Armenia

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication, Bangladesh

Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, Philippines

Centre for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka

Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia

Change Initiative, Bangladesh

CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network), Bangladesh

Conseil Regiinal des Organisatiins Non Gouvernementales de Deve'oppement, RDC

Environmental public society, Armenia

Equitable Cambodia, Cambodia

FIAN, Sri Lanka

Finnish Asiatic Society, Finland

Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines

Fresh Eyes, United Kingdom

Friends with Environment in Development, Uganda

Fundacja "Rozwój TAK - Odkrywki NIE", Poland

Global Rights, Nigeria

GrowthWatch, India

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India

Initiative for Right View, Bangladesh

International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Tajikistan

Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya, Kenya

Karavali Karnataka Janabhivriddhi Vedike, India

Life Haven Center for Independent living, Philippines

Lumière Synergie pour le Développement, Senegal

Nash Vek, Kyrgyzstan

Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh

Shabolombi, Bangladesh

Social Economic Development Society [SEDS], Bangladesh.

Songshoptaque, Bangladesh

Sri Lanka Nature Group, Sri Lanka

Umeedenoo, Pakistan

urgewald.e.V., Germany

WomanHealth Philippines, Philippines

World Health Organization, Myanmar

Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal

Youth Group on Protection of Environment, Tajikistan


[1] The NGO Forum on ADB is a network of over 250 Asian civil society organizations (CSOs) that has been monitoring the projects, programs, and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). [2] What Elon Musk's bitcoin bet means for Tesla: 5 things to know (2021). Available at: (Accessed: 13 February 2021). [3] How can we reduce Bitcoin pollution? (2019). Available at: (Accessed: 13 February 2021)

Download PDF here.


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