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COP27:  Leading Technology Companies Launch “Ethereum Climate Platform” Initiative to Address Ethereum’s Former Proof of Work Carbon Emissions

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COP27:  Leading Technology Companies Launch “Ethereum Climate Platform” Initiative to Address Ethereum’s Former Proof of Work Carbon Emissions

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  • Partners include a still growing list of prominent stakeholders from the Web3 ecosystems, as well as civil society leaders. 
  • Convened by Consensys and climate tech firm Allinfra, this collective will enable and accelerate the funding of projects globally that will contribute toward significant and verifiable greenhouse gas mitigation.
  • The initiative is designed to build a Platform collaboratively to accelerate climate finance at a scale that will more than redress the Ethereum-based carbon footprint, dating back to the network’s launch in 2015. 
  • This initiative launches two months after the Merge, the largest decarbonization of any industry in history, which eliminated 99.992% of Ethereum’s daily energy needs.
  • The platform is being built for and by the Ethereum ecosystem but the intention is to serve as a model to the global tech and business community to address their own historic carbon footprint.

This afternoon at COP27, the world’s largest gathering on climate action, a group of Web3 companies convened by ConsenSys and Allinfra, joined civil society leaders and the UNFCCC Climate Innovation Hub, to announce the creation of the Ethereum Climate Platform (ECP). Its mission is to incentivize and fund the development of real-world projects that will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and deliver positive environmental and social impact long into the future. Founding members of the Platform launch team include: AAVE, Art Blocks, Celo, Codegreen.Org, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, ERM, Filecoin Green, Gitcoin, Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), Huobi, Laser Digital (Nomura), Microsoft, Polygon, The Climate Collective, UPC Capital Ventures, and W3bcloud, in collaboration with Gold Standard.

The commitment of the Platform is to redress and counteract the Ethereum-based carbon footprint dating back to the network’s launch in 2015. It will invest in ongoing science-based climate projects which promise to mitigate in excess of Ethereum’s past emissions by leveraging Web3 native technologies, infrastructure, funding mechanisms and governance protocols. In addition to financing and otherwise supporting projects which deliver decarbonization at scale, the ECP will support new and innovative solutions in need of market validation, ensuring they will achieve tangible impact. These projects could range from nature-based carbon opportunities to green hydrogen, zero carbon power, heating, cooling and other utilities, to carbon removal projects, technologies and ecosystem services.

It is intended that the Platform’s climate mitigation strategy will be guided by a formal advisory process with leading players in the global environment space. Designees of aligned Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), plus representatives of regional and international climate organizations such as the Climate Collective, and other expert entities like sustainability consultancy ERM, are some of the stakeholders being engaged.

The announcement is being hosted at the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub at COP27. The Global Innovation Hub, launched in November 2021, aims to promote transformative innovations for a low-emission and climate-resilient future. The Hub facilitates climate solutions aligned with the UN’s SDGs. Hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Innovation Hub leverages the convening power and climate leadership of the UN with the dynamism of the private sector. The Hub will provide a global cross-disciplinary community of practice with an opportunity to share ideas and design climate solutions in a spirit of radical collaboration.

Counteracting Ethereum’s past carbon footprint 

This announcement comes only two months after the Merge, the ambitious re-architecture of the world’s largest open programmable blockchain that also represents the largest known decarbonization event of any industry in history. After seven years of development, the transition to Proof of Stake made Ethereum become the first global collective climate action to shed, through innovation, more than 99.992% of its carbon footprint, according to the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI). While this shift represents a significant environmental step forward, the technology leaves behind an estimated carbon debt in the tens of millions of metric tons. One of the first projects to be undertaken by the Platform’s launch partners will be to underwrite a study to attain the most accurate estimate with respect to these past emissions.

“The Merge set a new and extremely high bar for climate mitigation across the entire business and financial sector. It demonstrated that through sheer force of collective will, we can successfully drive technological decisions that massively reduce carbon output. But the climate crisis requires more radical change. This is why we are excited to come together with collaborators from among the most prominent actors from Web2 and Web3, as well as civil society leaders to accelerate climate innovations through the Ethereum Climate Platform,” said Joseph Lubin, Founder and CEO of ConsenSys, CoFounder of Ethereum.

“Funding high-quality green projects is critical in the fight to mitigate human-driven climate change,” added Bill Kentrup, co-founder at Allinfra. “Yet, historically, the process of deploying capital to the right projects and assessing their real impact has lacked transparency, efficiency and timeliness.We are pleased to have the opportunity to design and launch a better Web3 enabled climate finance platform and we acknowledge the outstanding advice and counsel of the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub over the past months in the draft design of this novel approach.  We look forward to the opportunity for the Platform to further engage with strategic leaders across climate and Web3 in collaborative efforts over the coming years.

The platform is being built for and by the Ethereum ecosystem but the intention is to serve as a model to the global tech and business community to offset their own historic carbon footprint.

“We’re delighted to bring Microsoft’s history of leadership and experience with science-based approaches to this broader effort,” said Yorke Rhodes III, board member of the EEA and cofounder of blockchain at Microsoft. “Core to our collaboration on this initiative is to assist the Ethereum community to chart an informed path forward.”

“With The Merge, Web3 showcased its two of its core traits, innovation and speed. Both are critical to deliver climate solutions in our current crisis,” added Sandeep Nailwal Co-Founder of Polygon. “We are excited to join forces with Consensys and our colleagues from web2 and web3 to tackle one of the most pressing challenges we face as citizens of the global community. The Ethereum Climate Platform is an important cross collaborative initiative to tackle the climate crisis. By working together, we will strive to affect real and lasting change that will provide a better reality for all.”

See related article: Iberdrola Presents Ambitious Climate Action Plan for COP27

How to join the initiative

The ECP invites stakeholders from the Web3 space, climate technology and carbon market  companies entering Web3, committed to decarbonization and global organizations seeking to eradicate their own historic carbon debt, to join the initiative by completing this form. In addition, civil society organizations are invited to put their extensive experience in climate action projects at the service of the Platform.

Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO of Aave Companies: “We are honored to join the United Nations Climate Action Conference along with prominent companies to form the Ethereum Climate Platform. Our goal is to fund and support innovative solutions that can significantly reduce greenhouse gasses and emissions. It is imperative that our industry utilize and build scalable and environmentally sustainable tech. The Merge was a huge step forward, eliminating almost all of Ethereum’s daily energy needs. This is a time when innovative and impactful solutions are needed to address climate change, and we must work together as an industry to support them.”

Rene Reinsberg, President, Celo Foundation: “With a deep commitment to advancing the regenerative finance (ReFi) movement, including Celo being the first carbon-negative blockchain and home to many climate-positive projects, we couldn’t be more excited to deepen our ties to the Ethereum community to become a founding partner of the Ethereum Climate Platform.”

Dan Burnett,  Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Executive Director: “Countries, governments, communities, and businesses of all sizes want a path forward to address the world’s climate emissions debt. The Ethereum Climate Platform addresses this need and makes Ethereum the first of many use cases to demonstrate how the world can benefit from this Platform. This is yet another example of Ethereum leading the way from moving to a more carbon-neutral footprint with the Merge to helping the world offset past climate emissions debt.”

Kushal Mashru, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships at ERM: “ERM welcomes this opportunity to help guide the ECP’s climate mitigation strategy. We urgently need to urgently accelerate decarbonization efforts if we are to achieve the ambitions enshrined in the Paris Agreement, and the ECP embodies the type of industry collaboration and innovation in support of climate action that’s required at scale.”

Alan Ransil, founder of the Filecoin Green initiative: “The ECP is a groundbreaking way of pursuing decarbonization transparently and at scale. By financing new projects rather than simply buying existing carbon credits, the ECP will raise the bar for additionality while providing public data to prove the impact of these projects.”

Sandra Ro, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC): “The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) values this critical climate action initiative and are grateful to work alongside Web3 leaders. We foster consensus and collaboration among our members so they can build and accelerate open source solutions to tackle major sustainability issues. GBBC’s aligned relationship with ConsenSys is pivotal for advancing this goal.”

Ben West, Cause Round Lead at Gitcoin: “Gitcoin has already begun addressing the historic emissions associated with running our web3 grants program by working in partnership with projects who use blockchain enabled carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates and other innovative solutions to quantify and verify climate action.”

Steve Ashley, co-founder and Chairman of Laser Digital (a Nomura company): “Nomura Group is a leading player in Green Finance and is committed to use all the available levers to limit and reverse climate change. Therefore, we are honored that one of the first initiatives of Laser Digital – the crypto subsidiary of Nomura – is to become a founding member of the Ethereum Climate Platform and leverage Web 3 technology to drive decarbonization”.

Anna Lerner, CEO of The Climate Collective: “The world needs to exponentially increase funding for high-quality decarbonization efforts and regenerative systems. The Climate Collective and our community are excited to partner with the Etherium Climate Platform to leverage trusted, sustainable Web3 infrastructure to unlock innovative and verifiable climate action at scale.”

Wael Aburida, co-founder and CFO of W3BCLOUD: “W3BCLOUD is honored to be among the founding members of the Ethereum Climate Platform (ECP). From our origin, we have recognized the importance of prioritizing sustainable energy sources for Web3. This is exactly why we developed our data centers to be primarily powered using renewable energy. We look forward to bringing our insight and experience to the ECP to ensure a future in which our digital infrastructure comes with a minimal carbon footprint.”

ABOUT THE PLATFORM LAUNCH PARTNERS

CONSENSYS

ConsenSys is a leading Ethereum and decentralized protocols software company. We enable developers, enterprises, and people worldwide to build next-generation applications, launch modern financial infrastructure, and access the decentralized web. Our product suite, composed of Infura, Quorum, Codefi, MetaMask, MetaMask Institutional, Truffle, Diligence and our NFT platform, serves millions of users, supports billions of blockchain-based queries for our clients, and has handled billions of dollars in digital assets. Ethereum is the largest programmable blockchain in the world, leading in business adoption, developer community, and DeFi activity. On this trusted, open-source foundation, we are building the digital economy of tomorrow. To explore our products and solutions, visit https://consensys.net/.

ALLINFRA

Built on its team’s decades of experience in environmental and capital markets, Allinfra’s enterprise software is revolutionising the climate market. Allinfra Climate is a blockchain-based environmental platform that helps institutions achieve their sustainability goals. Collecting climate-relevant information, this end-to-end solution allows users to store, use or monetise this verifiable, auditable data. Together with its asset tokenization platform Allinfra Digital, Allinfra is bringing access, choice and liquidity to global infrastructure and environmental assets.

AAVE COMPANIES

Aave Companies is a software technology company that builds Web3 protocols, applications and tools. The company created the Aave Protocol, one of the most widely used decentralized liquidity protocols. Governed by a community of over 100,000 users, the protocol is open and transparent and allows people to supply and borrow crypto assets without intermediaries. Following the success of Aave protocol, Aave Companies developed Lens Protocol. Lens provides an open-source tech stack for building web3 social applications. Lens can be used to create next-generation open and decentralized social media networks with transparent moderation tools and algorithms. With Lens Protocol, users, creators, and brands own and manage their data and followers and can choose to monetize their social capital in a variety of ways.

ART BLOCKS

Art Blocks is a first-of-its-kind generative art platform stored on the ETH blockchain. The company seeks to bring the future of art into the world we live in today by connecting collectors, fine art, cryptocurrency, and creative coding to manifest an extraordinary experience. Each work of art on Art Blocks could not exist without the person who mints it. It is this symbiotic relationship between the artist and the collector which forms the foundation of our amazing community. Art Blocks is where art, people, and technology evolve together.

CELO FOUNDATION

The Celo Foundation was founded in 2017 to support the growth and development of the decentralized, open source, mobile-first Celo platform to help build a carbon-negative financial system that creates the conditions of prosperity for all. The Foundation is guided by the Celo community tenets and contributes to education, technical research, environmental health, community engagement, and ecosystem outreach—activities that support and encourage an inclusive financial system. For more about Celo, visit https://celo.org/.

CODEGREEN.ORG

CodeGreen.Org is a blockchain-agnostic non-profit with a focused mission to deliver open source, interoperable, and scalable solutions to address the climate crisis and other global challenges

ENTERPRISE ETHEREUM ALLIANCE (EEA)

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) enables organizations to adopt and use Ethereum technology in their daily business operations. The EEA empowers the Ethereum ecosystem to develop new business opportunities, drive industry adoption, and learn and collaborate. The EEA Community Projects provides a hub for open source development of code, APIs, standards, and reference implementations. To learn more about joining the EEA, reach out to [email protected] or visit https://entethalliance.org/become-a-member/.

ERM 

ERM is the business of sustainability. As the largest global pure play sustainability consultancy, ERM partners with the world’s leading organizations, creating innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and unlocking commercial opportunities that meet the needs of today while preserving opportunities for future generations. ERM’s diverse team of 7,500+ world-class experts in over 170 offices across 39 countries supports clients across the breadth of their organizations to operationalize sustainability. Through ERM’s deep technical expertise, clients are well-positioned to address their environmental, health, safety, risk, and social issues. ERM calls this capability its “boots to boardroom” approach – a comprehensive service model that allows ERM to develop strategic and technical solutions that advance objectives on the ground or at the executive level. Visit us at https://www.erm.com

FILECOIN GREEN

Filecoin Green is an initiative to decarbonize the Filecoin Network and the greater Web3 ecosystem. The initiative aims to build open-source tools for Web3 projects to quantifiably measure and mitigate emissions generated from crypto-related activity. The initiative is spearheading a future of verifiably clean energy powered by crypto. To learn more about Filecoin Green’s mission, visit https://green.filecoin.io/ 

GITCOIN

Gitcoin is where the world’s leading web3 projects are born, validated, & funded. Our climate solutions grants rounds enable hundreds of cutting edge projects to test their ideas in the court of public opinion and get early stage funding if they have community support. People come to Gitcoin for the funding but they stay because of the community.

GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS COUNCIL (GBBC)

The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) is the world’s largest industry association for the blockchain technology and digital assets ecosystem. Conceived during the Blockchain Summit on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the GBBC is a Swiss-based non-profit launched in 2017 in Davos, Switzerland with more than 500 institutional members, and 178 Ambassadors from 95 jurisdictions and disciplines. GBBC includes GBBC Digital Finance (GDF), the financial services division focused on the adoption of best practices for cryptoassets and digital finance technologies, and the InterWork Alliance (IWA), an initiative that scales tokenization taxonomy and standards to drive quicker adoption of solutions. GBBC is dedicated to furthering adoption of blockchain through engaging regulators, business leaders, and global changemakers on how to harness this ground-breaking technology to create more secure, equitable, and functional societies. ​

LASER DIGITAL (NOMURA)

Laser Digital is a crypto business redefining the frontier of digital finance. Backed by Nomura, Laser Digital delivers scalable, robust opportunities across trading, asset management and ventures. The team works at higher standards of risk management, compliance and commercial viability, all driven by a belief in more responsible crypto innovation. With an open and dynamic culture, Laser Digital has the freedom to adapt to market needs, to move swiftly to capitalisation and to share learnings with clients and partners – bringing greater confidence to the institutional market for the benefit of all.

POLYGON

Polygon is the leading blockchain development platform, offering scalable, affordable, secure and sustainable blockchains for Web3. Its growing suite of products offers developers easy access to major scaling solutions including L2 (ZK Rollups and Optimistic Rollups), sidechains, hybrid, stand-alone and enterprise chains, and data availability. Polygon’s scaling solutions have seen widespread adoption with unique user addresses exceeding 174.9M. The network is home for some of the biggest Web3 projects such as Aave, Uniswap, OpenSea and well-known enterprises including Stripe and Adobe. Polygon is carbon neutral with the goal of leading the Web3 ecosystem in becoming carbon negative. 

THE CLIMATE COLLECTIVE

The Climate Collective is a coalition of companies collaboratively building on blockchain at the intersection of Web3 and climate action. Our mission is to develop a trusted and liquid market for high-quality digital environmental assets at scale. Our members are a unique set of builders, scientists, and community catalysts working to increase the scale and quality of natural assets on chain through dMRV, tokenization, marketplaces, and consumer engagement. For more information on the Climate Collective, please visit: https://climatecollective.org/about.

UPC CAPITAL VENTURES

Founded in 2014, UPC Capital Ventures is the venture capital arm of UPC Energy Group based in Boulder, Colorado. The firm seeks to invest in seed-stage, early-stage, and later-stage companies in the consumer, energy, lohas and wellness, health, water resource management, SaaS, and fintech sectors.

W3BCLOUD

W3BCLOUD (www.w3bcloud.com) provides the compute and storage infrastructure to power the decentralized application layer for Web3 protocols. Founded in 2018, W3BCLOUD is a joint venture among AMD, ConsenSys, and the company’s founders.

ABOUT THE PLATFORM COLLABORATOR GOLD STANDARD

Margaret Kim, CEO of Gold Standard: “Following the merge, it shows great leadership to take responsibility for the historic emissions that helped Ethereum reach its current position. By working with Gold Standard to measure, manage and maximise what this fund achieves, it guarantees real impact where it is most needed.”

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