As the world becomes increasingly digital, the climate and environmental industries have lagged behind. Organizations and corporations around the world have begun to realize that these markets need to embrace new technologies if there is any hope of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
At Flowcarbon’s 2023 ETHDenver Blockchain Summit, a group of panelists discussed the innovative ways organizations are bringing new digital technologies to carbon markets.
“Most sectors in society have already benefited from the digital transformation, climate and environment less so,” said Anna Lerner Nesbitt, CEO of Climate Collective.
One area of increasing focus has been digital environmental assets, digital representations, – typically in the form of a blockchain token or NFT – of assets that encompass everything from carbon to biodiversity to clean water. Digital environmental assets can natively contain all the necessary information about an environmental project while also leveraging the transparency and market infrastructure of blockchain.
“We need digital representations of environmental assets in order to finance them appropriately, in order to protect them appropriately, in order for the world to know where they are at and where they need to be,” said Nesbitt.
The panelists discussed their approaches to furthering the digitization of environmental markets. As CEO of Climate Collective, Nesbitt is working to build a community of projects developing digital solutions for verifiable climate action at scale. Bill Kentrup of Allinfra talked about his work with the Ethereum Climate Platform, an initiative originally meant to offset the historical carbon footprint from the proof-of-work related emissions of Ethereum that has now shifted to using web3 to efficiently select and finance carbon reduction projects.
“Digitization enables the capacity to get data from assets and tell the story of impact in the form of a product,” said Kentrup. “This saves a lot of cost and money and provides predictability.”
John Hoopes, Head of Ecosystem at Toucan Protocol, spoke about Toucan’s commitment to building tools for the carbon market that use open data, open access and open code. Nikhil Raghuveera, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Celo, discussed how Celo thinks about developing both the technical and the ecosystem components of blockchain for climate action.
The tools that these leaders and many others in the space are developing are powerful, but most importantly, they drive market participants toward action.
“Digitization and blockchain connect all the pieces together to build out this ReFi use case that is not just climate, but everything else from that,” said Raghuveera.