New ‘carbon currency’ aims to ease sustainable transactions

A new project unveiled today (19 September) will use blockchain technology to create a carbon currency that enables businesses to measure the carbon footprint of transactions in real terms.

The venture, set to be formally launched by non-profit Poseidon in January 2018, will create a carbon value for everyday products, bringing carbon pricing into the mainstream by allowing customers to participate through every-day micro-transactions.  

It will be made possible through the adoption of blockchain – an open source digital ledger that facilitates secure online dealings. The blockchain technology, provided by online platform, will provide consistency across jurisdictions and prevent the double counting of carbon, Poseidon claims.

Speaking during New York Climate Week, Poseidon founder Laszlo Giricz said: “There is significant scope for companies to capitalise on the increasing demands of their consumers, investors, and employees to demonstrate sustainability, responsible supply chains, and positive environmental action.

“As momentum builds, Poseidon’s blockchain technology presents an opportunity for early involvement in a transparent, accountable carbon market that can provide both financial and ecological returns, offering a host of benefits to natural ecosystems, and the habitats and livelihoods they support.”

Poseidon aims to enable consumers to purchase ‘climate-positive’ products through smart contracts and a custom token on the Stellar blockchain. The digital ecosystem will also facilitate the transparent measuring and trade of emissions.

A fundraiser will be launched the start of next year before Poseidon begins to source carbon credits through Ecosphere, a venture which finances a range of environmental assets worldwide, including in vulnerable ecological zones such as Brazil, Guatemala and Peru.

Poseidon will then create a mobile app which enables businesses to view the impact their carbon positive purchases are having on the ground.

Chain reaction

Blockchain is viewed as one of the ‘essential eight’ emerging technologies by PwC that will play a crucial role in tackling issues around climate and biodiversity. The technology could facilitate peer-to-peer energy sharing and trading on digital platforms, a market which is reportedly set for take-off. 

A host of major firms including Nestlé, Unilever and Walmart recently established a collaboration with tech giant IBM to explore how the global food supply chain can benefit from blockchain technology. The joint programme could enable all participants in the supply chain, including growers, suppliers, retailers and consumers, to quickly trace a contaminated product to its source and stem the spread of illnesses.

George Ogleby

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