Yale Researchers Turn to Hyperledger to Track Carbon Emissions

In our current state of lockdown, it may sound facile to say technologies like blockchain, IoT and AI can protect us. But it’s a combination of those tools that software architects think will help mitigate the largest known existential threat we face today: climate change.

A team from Yale University’s Open Innovation Lab (OpenLab) has been exploring how distributed ledgers, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and other data-science tools can be used to measure and track carbon emissions. 

It’s a gargantuan task, but Yale’s Open Climate project has been laying the foundations for a global carbon accounting mechanism that can be compatible with the Paris Agreement, the United Nations framework for holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

“I understand climate change as a big picture, managing our global planetary carbon budget,” said Martin Wainstein, the founder of the Yale OpenLab. “To me, that translated into an accounting problem.”

One of Open Climate’s recent collaborative forays has been within the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger blockchain greenhouse, where Wainstein now co-chairs a climate action and accountability working group.

Following Open Climate’s work with identity-focused Hyperledger projects Indy and Aries, Wainstein said a climate change focus could be in the cards, similar to the Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain’s focus on supply chain, known as Grid.

“I do think that eventually, it would make sense to have a domain-specific framework similar to HL Grid for climate,” Wainstein said. “We will have a more consolidated development and announcement probably in the next couple of months.” Read More...

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