How blockchain technology is transforming climate action

The United Nations Climate Change Conference of November 2021, known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland urged the world to commit to curbing contributions to carbon emissions. Achieving a net-zero world in less than 30 years is causing many to turn to blockchain technology, buy carbon offsets, and spark renewed interest in carbon capture.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has identified 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 organizations to establish an open global initiative, the Climate Chain Coalition, signaling its early support for blockchain for the climate.

At 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 Western Asia drew together blockchain stakeholders in the MENA region to shape a common understanding of the technology’s potential for supporting countries with climate action, which was followed by the Blockchain4Climate networking event. Drawing from these discussions, I will shed light on how we use blockchain to address climate action.

Green digital asset solutions

Although the digital asset industry has been slammed for its high energy consumption, such an accusation is misleading. It is essential to differentiate between cryptocurrencies and underlying blockchain platforms that are energy efficient and underpin climate initiatives. Few climate initiatives leverage cryptocurrencies. Algorand has declared its blockchain to be entirely carbon-neutral; Kickstarter is building a crowdfunding platform on the carbon-negative blockchain platform Celo; and SavePlanetEarth is setting up certified Carbon Credit Smart nonfungible tokens (NFT) on Phantasma, a green blockchain for developers to build their decentralized applications. The…

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