World Economic Forum: Blockchain Can Help The Planet In Over 65 Different Ways

World Economic Forum Blockchain Environment

The World Economic Forum has published research demonstrating over 65 different ways in which blockchain technology can be used to solve significant environmental issues.

Prepared in partnership with PwC and presented at this month’s Global Climate Action Summit, the insight study was set up to examine how “responsible blockchain ecosystems” can help solve a number of environmental challenges.

This could include networks to decentralize the management of resources like water and energy, as well as creating supply chains with a more specific focus on sustainability, according to their findings.

The report adds that blockchain could also be used to develop funding models for raising money, which it expects to become increasingly important in pursuit of “low-carbon and sustainable” economic growth.

“Transparency is vital in influencing consumer decisions, updating supply chain practices and triggering new governance arrangements. Blockchain-enabled smart contracts could, for instance, be used to underpin innovative tenure arrangements that give specific resource rights to communities or fishers.”

The report specifies some areas in which blockchain technology can be used to benefit the environment: biodiversity and conservation, oceans, weather, water security, clean air, disaster resilience and climate change.

However, these opportunities are currently being largely neglected by developers, governments and investors, in favor of more commercial applications.

Celine Herweijer, partner at PwC, said there were a number of opportunities, beyond disruption in financial markets, for blockchain technology.

“There is an opportunity for fresh ideas to harness this nascent technology to help deliver big gains for our environment. From transparent and trusted clean and ethical supply chains, to incentivizing sustainable consumption and production, or underpinning the much-needed transition to low-carbon decentralized energy, water and mobility systems.”

The report comes at a time of increasing development activity around blockchain, including in use cases beyond the finance sector, as more businesses and government agencies switch on to the potential of the technology.

According to the report, blockchain is set to become increasingly important in the coming years, as a way to “unlock and monetize value that is currently embedded in environmental systems,” as well as addressing fundamental environmental issues.