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6 Key Takeaways From Flowcarbon’s 2023 ETHDenver Climate Summit

6 Key Takeaways From Flowcarbon’s 2023 ETHDenver Climate Summit

March 10, 2023

Flowcarbon recently convened its signature Climate Summit at ETHDenver along with partners NEAR Foundation, Celo, Open Forest Protocol, Moss, and Carbon Path. An audience of more than 500 and speakers from across the blockchain community and carbon markets came to engage in a full day of content and conversation about how the integration of Web3 and climate solutions can accelerate scale and impact. 

More than 55 expert panelists weighed in across a range of topics from decentralized identity, to building strong ecosystems in the current bear market, to building critical infrastructure for the voluntary carbon market. 

Several key themes emerged throughout the course of the day, reflecting both the macro environment and trends more specific to climate within blockchain:

1. Credibility is key

There is a massive amount of potential to unlock in climate action through Web3, thus it is imperative that stakeholders have credibility as a core value in everything they do. Introducing new technologies to an entire industry while it’s in a period of massive growth requires thoughtfulness and collaboration with experts and all stakeholders.

“On top of building things that are super usable, we also need to make sure that everything we do, we do so with the utmost credibility and responsibility. We need to maintain reputability while continuing to build on this momentum.”
- Dana Gibber, CEO & Co-founder, Flowcarbon

2. Usability is the gateway to mass adoption

Widespread adoption of Web3 technology is the first step in leveraging all of its benefits — including interoperability and immutability. Creating user interfaces and experiences that are as simple as possible will facilitate the expansion and adoption of Web3.

“What does usable mean? It means that end users don’t have to worry about impossible logins, or keys, or 20 different steps to get to one place. Usability means that for end users, it’s as simple as logging into your email account.”
- Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation

3. Blockchain can galvanize climate investing

The marriage of climate and blockchain can bring about extremely effective solutions to existing problems in the market if done correctly. Blockchain can solve for transparency and credibility in the current voluntary carbon market, among other obstacles.

“When people ask, in regard to climate, ‘Why blockchain?’ my response is often, ‘Why not?’ We need to think about what the ends are that we are trying to achieve and if blockchain is a good fit. When talking about the carbon market, some of the ends that we are trying to achieve are transparency, traceability, liquidity and ease of use. Based on those ends you can see that blockchain is very applicable.”
- Mary Gao, Investor, General Catalyst 

4. MRV is evolving

Digital mechanisms for measurement, reporting and verification can help to ensure ongoing accuracy and legitimacy in numerous areas, including in the carbon project development life cycle, while reducing key barriers like cost and time for manual alternatives. 

“Traditional MRV has many bottlenecks, including cost, which can be prohibitive especially for smaller nature based solutions. Digitizing this process, including with machine learning and AI, can drastically reduce cost and open up participation.”
- Robert Heilberg, Head of Growth, dClimate

5. It’s imperative that incentives are rearranged

The current incentive structure rewards destruction of the environment, rather than preservation. Solving that problem is a major key to galvanizing climate action.

“It always starts with solving real problems first. As were able to prove that there is a business model there that isn’t so highly volatile and people aren’t worried about losing overall investments, as we show those small increments of success we have more confidence and belief to go into other areas, which in turn creates more jobs.”
- Yacob Berhane, Co-founder and CEO, Pariti

6. It’s a build market, not a bear market

Founders and investors alike discussed how the current environment is the time for all companies to focus and build. They advised taking a calculated approach to the actual needs of the market and calibrating accordingly.

“During any of these bear market cycles, you’re trimming the fat, minimizing the noise and focusing on the utility, the tangible use cases.”
- Anella Bohkari, Data & Analytics, Google Cloud + Co-Founder of Women in Web3

These are just some of the themes of the summit. It was a full day of fresh perspectives, keen insights, conversation and collaboration, which will continue into the next Climate Summit. 

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