UPDATED 12:45 EST / APRIL 08 2021

BLOCKCHAIN

Crypto Climate Accord seeks to make cryptocurrency industry 100% renewable by 2030

A new private-sector initiative known as Crypto Climate Accord launched today seeking to make the cryptocurrency industry greener led by blockchain-based decentralized energy market Energy Web in partnership with RMI and Alliance for Innovative Regulation.

The initiative will seek to bring the cryptocurrency industry fully renewable by 2030, or sooner. Inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement, the accord aims to gather together the crypto and financial technology industry to build sustainable infrastructure with support from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Climate Champions.

Right now, the ever-increasing demand for cryptocurrencies is beginning to show the potential ecological impact that blockchain-based technology could have on the world. As a result, the Accord believes that shifting the industry towards renewable and sustainable energy right now would set the world on a more scalable trajectory – and the sooner the better.

For example, nonfungible tokens, a blockchain-based method for providing uniquely tradable tokens, have become a recent craze, increasing popularity and interest in the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs show promise to allow artists to create unique, tradable digital versions of their artwork in ways only before seen with physical artwork – and that is leading an almost Beanie Baby-like collectible market.

According to the chart on Digiconimist.net, the Ethereum network consumes an estimated 33.6 terawatt-hours of electricity per year when measured today, on par with a small country like Denmark. This is approximately one-third of the estimated 95 TWh per year consumed by the bitcoin network.

If this trend continues, and even if it follows to a lesser or greater extent across other blockchains, it would have terrible consequences for energy consumption and environmental impact.

“It’s vital that we correct misinformation that has persisted about bitcoin’s energy use and sources,” said Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares. “Our industry has always been focused on pushing the bleeding edge of innovation and taking action to accelerate change instead of waiting for systemic change, which takes decades and often never materializes.”

As a result, the Accord intends to employ what it calls a “big tent” approach to the industry and seeks to coordinate the rest of the industry in decarbonizing its energy use. Energy Web, RMI and AIR have developed three high-level objectives.

First, the Accord will enable all the world’s blockchains to be powered by 100% renewables by the 2025 UNFCCC climate conference. Second, it aims to develop an open-source accounting standard for measuring emissions from the cryptocurrency industry. And third, it wants to achieve net-zero emissions for the entire crypto industry, including all business operations, by 2040.

More than 20 companies and individuals have joined the Accord, taken from across the crypto industry, finance, technology, energy and climate industries. They include CoinShares, Consensys, Ripple, Acciona, Compass Mining and Web 3 Foundation.

“In addition to urgently eliminating future emissions, this industry is uniquely placed to address its historical emissions debt.” said Nigel Topping, high-level champion for climate action at the United Nation’s COP26. “The very nature of blockchains enables historical system-wide transparency, making crypto’s emissions debt a ripe target for carbon dioxide removal solutions.”

The Crypto Climate Accord’s vision is to change the future of the planet and global economy. For climate activists, this means eliminating emissions from a fast-growing source of electric load. For the crypto industry, clean energy is often also a source of cheaper, more scalable and sustainable energy sources for a growing industry.

Image: Pixabay

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