In the last months before The Merge, Ethereum was very energy intensive. The equivalent of Bangladesh’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is hardly the case today, as the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake has reduced system resource requirements by 99.988%. However, this will not restore the 7 years in which Ethereum has been much less efficient since its creation in 2015.
On the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27), which was held in Egypt, the blockchain specialist company ConsenSys wanted to remind that the work was not done with Ethereum. Instead of having found a solution for the sustainable future of the blockchain, its cryptocurrency and all Ethereum-based DeFi projects, it will now be necessary to restore the past. A cleaning that the New York company wanted to present as a consensus project, which all actors working on Ethereum should join in order to contribute to this goal.
Ethereum Climate Platform, named after the platform, was launched on November 17 after COP27 and a dozen Web3 companies joined ConsenSys, the media reported The edge. The CEO of ConsenSys is none other than one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin (alongside Vitalik Buterin). The Canadian launched his so-called “blockchain incubator” company in 2014 to counter Bitcoin. One of the company’s flagship projects is MetaMask, the web browser extension to manage its Ethereum wallets.
Invest in DAC (Direct Air Capture)
What is the initiative’s plan? Initially, it will try to accurately determine the importance of its impact on the climate during its 7 years of activity. ConsenSys explains this in a press release “technology leaves a carbon debt estimated at tens of millions of metric tons”. Next, the work will involve investing in a host of climate projects, and in particular technologies for capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“The platform’s commitment is to correct and counter the Ethereum-based carbon footprint since the network launched in 2015. It will invest in ongoing science-based climate projects that promise more than previous emissions from ‘Ethereum by leveraging native Web3 technologies. […] In addition to funding and supporting projects that enable large-scale decarbonization, the ECP will support new solutions ranging from nature-based carbon opportunities to green hydrogen, carbon-free energy, heating, cooling and other utilities, carbon removal projects, technologies and ecosystem services.” added ConsenSys during his visit to Egypt.
Current installations for capturing CO2 in the atmosphere represent only a small part of what should be captured. Of 18 facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated, our current capacity would only be in the order of 0.01 million tons of CO2. The goal, for 2030, is to grow to 85 million and then to 980 million by 2050. This technology, called Direct Air Capture (DAC), is highly controversial, but according to a report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on climate change) , it would be “inevitable”.
Now, ConsenSys and the Ethereum Climate Platform initiative are counting on big players like Microsoft and Polygon to help fund these goals. As reminded The edge, many small Web3 startups looking to participate may have more pressing things to do to survive with the recent cryptocurrencies setbacks, since the fall of FTX. The Sam Bankman-Fried case is not the only threat: in the first six months of 2022, the Blockchain Ethereum also saw $2 billion evaporate due to all kinds of hacks.