This English town wants to become the first climate-positive city by using blockchain technology.
According to a recent announcement, the Liverpool City Council has partnered with the nonprofit Poseidon Foundation to integrate blockchain technology into the city’s daily operations, with the goal of becoming a climate-positive city by the end of 2020. Through Poseidon’s platform, consumers and retailers in Liverpool, England, could potentially offset their climate-negative transactions, which would be linked to climate-positive credits to help fund forest conservation efforts spearheaded by Ecosphere+, a global climate solutions company.
The city will trial its climate-positive strategy over the next 12 months. Per the agreement, Poseidon will work with the city’s local schools, universities, and businesses to spread awareness about climate impact. Additionally, Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, will host a strategic business summit in September with organizations across the city to explore Poseidon’s role in helping to make individual companies climate positive.
Discussing the partnership, Anderson said:
“Poseidon’s technology is the first of its kind to truly deliver a solution to governments, businesses and individuals around the world to help reverse the causes of climate change and I am thrilled this agreement will bring this cutting-edge technology to our city. Liverpool City Council has a significant carbon footprint because of all the services we provide – be it street lighting, the running of countless properties like St George’s Hall or the Arena and our fleet of vehicles. We are already making significant strides to reduce our impact … but that is not enough and partnering with Poseidon … means we can explore radical new ways to do more.”
In the use case proposed on the Poseidon website, consumers and retailers join the platform. The retailer’s point-of-sale system stores the carbon impact of items in its inventory, and when the consumer makes a purchase, they pay a price to offset the carbon impact. This system requires the participation of the service provider or retailer and the consumer.
However, neither the city council nor Poseidon has provided details regarding specific projects in the pipeline for Liverpool. It remains unclear which facets of the city’s operations would be part of the blockchain system to offset its carbon footprint using the climate-positive Ecosphere+ credits, whether the system would be open to private businesses, or to what extent participation would be voluntary.
However, Liverpool hopes its efforts will help reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. According to the announcement, such a reduction would equal the preservation of 136 million trees, or 338,000 football fields’ worth of forest.
The cryptospace has seen other energy-related advancements in the past few months, especially within the United States. In June, Santa Clara municipal electric company Silicon Valley Partner announced a project with Australian blockchain-based renewable energy startup Power Ledger to track electric vehicle charging and simplify the process of earning California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits. On July 16, the US Department of Energy announced that Colorado blockchain company Grid7 LLC would receive a nearly $1 million grant to use the technology to develop a more decentralized energy system.
Daniel Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.
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