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

  • 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 (EEA), ERM, Filecoin Green, Gitcoin, Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), Huobi Global, Laser Digital (Nomura), Microsoft, Polygon, The Climate Collective, UPC Capital Ventures, and W3bcloud, in collaboration with Gold Standard.

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

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

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 sustainability 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 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.”

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."

Neil Cohn, Co-Founder and CEO of CodeGreen.Org: “CodeGreen.Org delivers blockchain solutions that encourage collaboration among technology providers by extending interoperability and functionality of foundational market infrastructure including the World Bank’s Climate Warehouse program. We are thrilled to join the ECP and its mission to scale direct investment into groundbreaking projects that address the challenge of our generation, the climate crisis.”

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 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."

President of Gold Standard, and Ex-UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer: “The private sector needs to recognise more strongly that addressing climate change is a collective responsibility. To quote an old friend “business cannot succeed in a society that fails”. By working with Gold Standard this new initiative will ask the right questions, respect the right values and invest in the right projects to take responsibility for historic emissions – and by doing so will set an example to the wider private sector.”

Edward Chen, Head of Asset and Commercial Center at Huobi Global: “The blockchain industry has come under intense criticism for being the antithesis to climate change, but the Merge has proved the complete opposite. Web3 and sustainability can definitely work hand-in- hand, and we are proud to take part in COP27 as we discuss how superior green projects can be evaluated for investment. With the cooperation between Web3, Fintech and civil society thought leaders, great strides can be achieved in this space.”

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 Ethereum 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.”

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