How Blockchain Can Promote Sustainability and Thwart Climate Change
The impacts of blockchain technology are undeniable, and it has already begun to have a tremendous effect on a plethora of industries. That being said, a newfound use case for blockchain proves that the technology could impact far more than supply chains, logistics, and finance.It could potentially solving one of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change.During a special United Nations meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Philippa Ryan, a blockchain expert at UTS Law, explained to more than 600 representatives from 160 countries just how the technology underpinning Bitcoin could reduce the progression of climate change.Blockchain May Be Climate Change’s Greatest EnemyDr. Ryan presented his views on the impact of blockchain on climate change during the International Organization Standardization (ISO) week, in which foreign dignitaries viewed several presentations from various industry experts on how to best incubate sustainability, green energy, and how to best combat climate change.Dr. Ryan’s presentation specifically focused on “Goal 13 – climate action,” which is focusing on how to best promote sustainability for nations that rely on traditional, emission causing, methods that are pivotal parts of the respective nation’s infrastructure.Dr. Ryan explains that adopting green and sustainable electricity production is easier for developing countries, as they do not have to worry about overhauling their current systems, which would be inefficient and expensive.“For example, disrupting Australia’s way of producing electricity to reduce emissions is challenging because the incumbent industries, infrastructure, systems and processes are significant contributors to the economy,” Dr. Ryan explained.She says the current focus should be on promoting sustainability in developing nations that can start fresh, where cities, communities, and villages can use blockchain technology to manage their systems.“Using solar panels, communities and villages can generate, store and use their own energy and the whole system can be managed securely using blockchain technology.”Although at first this may not have any impact on human-caused climate change, as these societies develop and become major producers they will be fully sustainable, and the impact on the climate will be sizable.The key to utilizing a fully sustainable platform that works cohesively and is easy to manage is the blockchain, Dr. Ryan explains.“With no central controller or regulator of the system, everyone in the grid community must be able to trust the ledgers which record how much energy is generated, stored, bought and sold within and across the network. The technology [blockchain] provides a transparent, auditable and automated market trading and clearing mechanism for the benefit of producers and consumers.”The World Economic Forum also recently released a report that corroborates Dr. Ryan’s claims, explaining that blockchain and decentralized solutions can impact climate change, explaining that it is particularly useful in examples where it enables: “… cleaner and more efficient decentralized systems; peer-to-peer trading of resources or permits; supply-chain transparency and management; new financing models for environmental outcomes; and the realization of non-financial value and natural capital.”Featured image from Shutterstock.