The global climate crisis has long been a hot topic of discussion. But the discourse has changed and a consensus has been reached that steers the conversation towards how to stop, or at least reduce, the ongoing problem of climate change. Two crucial moments in reaching this point were the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose mission is to be a “blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all”, and the Paris Agreement, an international agreement was adopted by almost all nations six years ago in 2015.
The discussion about fighting the global climate crisis has focused on new technologies and their role in this process. As early as 2017, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) emphasized the importance of blockchain technology for the global fight against climate change. The UNFCCC Secretariat has described some specific use cases:
“In particular, transparency, cost efficiency and efficiency advantages, which in turn can lead to a stronger involvement of stakeholders and an improved creation of global public goods, are currently seen as the most important potentials.”
Decentralized technologies indeed have the potential to achieve the SDGs by reshaping conventional approaches to sustainable development via the benefits of blockchain technology such as transparency and immutability. As 2020 showed us, many countries around the world are already turning to new technologies in the fight against the climate crisis and in their efforts to reduce carbon-intensive practices. Some examples are Russia, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, and certainly the G7 countries – including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Meanwhile, in early 2021, concerns about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint (BTC) became a hotly debated topic both inside and outside the crypto community, forcing some major global media outlets to raise their heads about energy use and carbon emissions from Express Bitcoin. The topic was not new, however, as experts had been discussing the pros and cons of Bitcoin mining for a long time. Bitcoin’s supporters argued that its energy use was “irrelevant compared to global energy production and waste” and that compared to BTC mining, “gold and steel processing wastes money, energy and resources”.
It is best to put aside the issue of who is right and who is wrong in this debate and instead focus on the implications. There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining, and the most important one that has emerged from this debate is that the crypto industry has accepted that it is focused on green technology, offsetting Bitcoin’s carbon emissions and the Use of renewable energy needs to focus.
To find out what impact these technologies can have on the fight against the climate crisis, Cointelegraph contacted a number of experts in emerging technologies whose goals are directly related to sustainable development and technological innovation. The experts responded to the following question: How can new technologies help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and mitigate the effects of climate change?