How is blockchain technology transforming climate action?

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The United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021, known as COP26, called on the world to commit to reducing contributions to carbon emissions. a net-zero In less than 30 years, the world is causing many to turn to blockchain technology, buy carbon offsets, and regain a renewed interest in carbon capture.

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), defined Transparency, clean energy, carbon markets and climate finance as areas where blockchain technology can accelerate climate action. At the 2017 Paris Summit, the UN Climate Change Secretariat joined a multi-stakeholder group of organisations. to create The Climate Chain Coalition, an open global initiative, marks its early support for blockchain for the climate.

During the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week, UNEP, the International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI GloCha) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia brought together blockchain stakeholders in MENA. region to shape a shared understanding of the potential of technology to support countries with climate action followed by the Blockchain4Climate networking event. Building on these discussions, I will shed light on how we use blockchain to address climate action.

Green digital asset solutions

While the digital asset industry has been criticized for its high energy consumption, such an accusation is misleading. It is important to distinguish between cryptocurrencies and key blockchain platforms that are energy efficient and support climate initiatives. Few climate initiatives are leveraging cryptocurrencies. Algorand declared its blockchain to be completely carbon neutral; Kickstarter is building a crowdfunding platform on the carbon negative blockchain platform Celo; and SavePlanetEarth are installing certified Carbon Credit Smart non-fungal tokens (NFTs) on Phantasma, a green blockchain for developers to build their decentralized applications. The game has begun and platforms are moving to more sustainable energy and consensus mechanisms. Polkadot has also been highlighted as a climate-friendly blockchain.

Related: Green ‘light’: EU approach to crypto balances eco-values ​​with regulatory relevance

Renewed interest in carbon reporting, sequestration and capturing voluntary carbon markets. opened the gateway to green digital asset solutions that can be tokenized and used as commodities in a market system – for example, green service tokens, the reward for reducing carbon emissions; green asset tokens, tokenized carbon credits or biodiversity offsets; green crypto programmed to be spent only on green products; and green security token offering issuance platforms designed to enable green proof-of-effect reporting.

We are seeing such projects mature and proliferate as people innovate for climate action – for example, TreeCoin sells tokenized assets tied to eucalyptus trees and reinvests them in eucalyptus trees in Paraguay. The Carbonland Trust also has a tokenized carbon credit for forest conservation, the Cambridge Center for Carbon Credits to look buy carbon credits to finance nature-based solutions that preserve biodiversity. ClimateCoin promotes offsetting carbon emissions by giving tokens to people who plant trees or reduce their CO2 emissions. Carbon Offsets for Poverty Reduction supports projects that reward farmers who plant and maintain trees on underutilized portions of their land. Evercity is working with GloCha on a green chain solution for COP28, the 28th session scheduled for November 6-17, 2023.

Related: The UN’s COP26 climate change targets include rising technology and carbon taxes

A few projects also focus on tradable carbon credits. The Universal Protocol allows certified projects to convert greenhouse gas reductions into tradable carbon credits. First, NFT-based carbon credits give carbon creditors access to the blockchain and allow users to track, trade and burn credits. Also, organizations like Evercity and Blockchain Triangle are robustly integrated platforms that drive and bring together startups and carbon credits, connecting them to investors and financial mechanisms like digital green bonds through blockchain-focused platforms. The capacity to include these voluntary market credits in national reporting under the Paris Agreement is also being addressed through initiatives such as the following. Blockchain for Climate and her bitmo platform and Nested Climate Accounting for the Open Earth Foundation and Paris Global Stocktake.

Smart grid management

Blockchain technology can help develop and manage smart grids in decentralized energy markets and allow for reliable and transparent peer-to-peer power trading. Powerledger allows consumers to buy, sell or trade excess renewable electricity directly with each other. Solstroem focuses on accelerating the energy transition in emerging and developing countries by providing off-grid solar and geo-tagged, time-stamped micro-carbon credits that individuals or companies can purchase. Electron from the UK uses smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to develop a smart grid that will provide energy continuously. Grid Singularity is a decentralized energy marketplace and energy data exchange platform. TransActive Grid is also a blockchain-based energy marketplace, but focuses on local peer-to-peer homegrown energy trading.

New technologies that have drastically reduced production costs and the mass adoption of mobile phones in developing countries are making it possible to connect solar panels to the blockchain to enable consumers to benefit from distributed generation. Azuri Technologies, Zola Electric and Mobisol create low-cost solar panel solutions for off-grid areas in rural Africa. This clever pay-as-you-go system helps households move from renting to owning an asset by making solar technology affordable for well below the price of kerosene, allowing households to pay for solar panels. This can transform the lives of off-grid rural citizens, empower them with the latest technology, create a healthier, safer home environment and support additional sustainability initiatives.

NFTs and gamification

NFTs are on the rise leveraged for climate change with initiatives ranging from awareness raising to fundraising; moreover, NFTs are used as a permanent record for impact and carbon credits. SavePlanetEarth launches certified Carbon Credit Smart NFTs. First Carbon Corp. developing NFT-based carbon credits, with issuers accessing the blockchain, allow users to monitor, trade and burn credits so that there is no double count.

Related: Despite the bad rap, NFTs can be a force for good

Another NFT use case is DigitalArt4Climate, a collect and exchange multi-stakeholder partnership initiative that uses blockchain technology to transform art into digital assets, or NFTs, and unlocks the potential for resource mobilization, youth participation and climate empowerment.

DCCarbon founder Adi K. Mishra points out that you can also use gaming to promote widespread positive climate action. GreenApes uses gamification to help people understand their carbon footprints, and we can expect to see more games people can play to win for climate action.

Measurement and reporting

Blockchain technology will be a critical tool for measurement and reporting, along with artificial intelligence and large-scale interconnected databases (e.g. climate, water, terrain) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop action for desertification and deforestation and predict weather events. and trends. Blockchain smart contracts offer a tamper-proof and zero-cost mechanism for linking positive (or negative) environmental changes or consequences to financial incentives/deterrents – for example, a measurable reduction in CO2 as measured by an IoT-based network of atmosphere monitoring sensors placed around a village. can “trigger” the release of crypto to the village based on the measurement observed in the environment.

DAO for climate action

Blockchain technology can create new digital economies that unite and economically align people around a common purpose. It is possible to develop economies that value climate action. IAAI GloCha presented the United Citizens organization for climate empowerment plans at MENA Climate Week, which will be the flagship of COP28.

I’ll take a deeper dive into each of these opportunities in the coming weeks.

This article does not contain investment advice or advice. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent those of Cointelegraph.

Jane Thomason He is the chairman of Kasei Holdings, an investment firm specializing in the digital asset ecosystem. He has a doctorate degree. He has had multiple roles with British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, Kerala Blockchain Academy, Africa Blockchain Center, UCL Center for Blockchain Technologies, Frontiers in Blockchain and Fintech Diversity Radar. He has written numerous books and articles on blockchain technology. Featured in Crypto Curry Club’s 101 Women in Blockchain, Top 10 Digital Frontier Women of Female Collaboration, Lattice80’s Top 100 Fintechs for SDG Influencers, and Thinkers360’s Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers in Blockchain .

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