For some time, the global climate crisis was a hot topic of debate. But the discourse has changed and a consensus has been reached, leading the conversation to how to stop, or at least lessen, the current 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 “model for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all”, and the Paris Agreement, an international agreement. adopted by almost all nations six years ago in 2015.
The discussion on how to fight the global climate crisis has focused on emerging technologies and their role in the process. In 2017, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) highlighted the importance of blockchain technology to help combat climate change globally. The UNFCCC secretariat detailed some specific use cases:
“In particular, the benefits of transparency, cost-effectiveness and efficiency, which in turn can lead to greater stakeholder integration and better creation of global public goods, are currently seen as the main potential benefits.”
In fact, decentralized technologies have the potential to help achieve the SDGs by reformulating conventional approaches to sustainable development through the benefits of blockchain technology, such as transparency and immutability. As 2020 showed us, many countries around the world are already turning to emerging technologies in their fight against the climate crisis and in their efforts to reduce carbon-intensive practices. Some examples include Russia, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, and certainly the G7 nations, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. .
Meanwhile, in early 2021, concerns about Bitcoin’s (BTC) carbon footprint became a hotly debated topic both within and outside the crypto community, forcing some of the world’s leading media outlets to speak out. on the energy consumption and carbon emissions of Bitcoin. However, the topic was not new, as experts had already been discussing the pros and cons of Bitcoin mining for a while. Bitcoin supporters argued that its energy consumption is irrelevant “compared to global energy production and waste” and that, compared to BTC mining, “Processing gold and steel is wasting money, energy and resources.”
It is better to put aside the issue of who is right and who is wrong in this debate and instead focus on the impact of it. There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining, and the biggest one that came out of this debate is that the crypto industry has accepted that it must prioritize the focus on green technology, offsetting the carbon emissions of Bitcoin and taking advantage of renewable energy.
To learn about the impact that these technologies can have in the fight against the climate crisis, Cointelegraph reached out to several experts in emerging technologies whose objectives are directly related to sustainable development and technological innovation. The experts gave their opinion on the following question: How can emerging technologies help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and lessen the impacts of climate change?