Blockchain technology is playing an important role in the fourth industrial revolution. It can eliminate existing environmental problems, change the way the global environment is managed, and bring people to a new level of quality.
Responsible Ecosystems Based on Blockchain
As a result of research conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the PwC audit company, analysts drew attention to the fact that, at present, there are more than 65 precedents in the world of blockchain technology being used for solving important environmental problems that have overwhelmed the planet. The report published at the summit on global climate issues in California on September 14, 2018, emphasizes that instead of creating separate applications and platforms, blockchain should be used to build global responsible ecosystems. The impending ecological cataclysms that the planet is facing today, such as climate change, the problem of the world's oceans, air pollution, biodiversity conservation, and others require immediate solutions. And blockchain, having huge potential in managing and tracking the supply chain and ensuring full transparency of the processes, could help in preventing unethical market trade, reduce administrative costs, and minimize the risks associated with safety and quality.
Despite the fact that the technology of the distributed ledger is often associated with the financial and banking sector, it can bring tangible benefits in ecological systems.
For example, that includes the decentralization of management of natural resources, such as energy and water, and the provision of new financing mechanisms to attract huge funds, which are expected to be required to ensure sustainable economic growth without the use of high-carbon energy.
Changing the existing resource management process can even lead to a circular economy where individuals, companies, and governments can unlock the financial value of resources that are currently considered to be economically undervalued.
Blockchain platforms are also able to provide more access to capital. The report notes that this could be trillions of dollars, starting with investments at the retail level and ending with charitable donations for inefficient economies and developing countries.
Blockchain can also be used to create a new system of automatic warning for natural disasters and solve the issue of the formation of humanitarian assistance based on transparent information exchange, thereby increasing the effectiveness of disaster management. These systems are not only limited to disaster relief, as they can also be implemented to transform the existing monitoring, reporting, and loyalty testing process in many organizations and industries.
How to Turn the Disadvantages of Blockchain Technology into Its Advantages
The report notes that these game-changers and blockchain precedents can have a huge potential impact on a new sustainable future. As with many new technologies, however, blockchain has a number of shortcomings, risks, and problems. After all, this technology is quite new, and it has problems related to scalability and the trust of stakeholders.
Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology at the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum, believes that the technology has already caused a significant response to its potential and is ready to fundamentally destroy existing business and government models.
"Despite all this hype, blockchain has many problems that have yet to be overcome. It is still a developing, albeit at a fast pace, technology. And now is the best time to rally all interested parties around the solution on a blockchain basis of global challenges that are hindering people and the planet."
Similarly, Dominic Waughray, director and head of the Environmental Initiative of the World Economic Forum, called for targeted cooperation between large industries and environmental policymakers. Such symbiosis will not only introduce the technology but also create an ecosystem for improving the environment.
DLT-based projects already provide solutions to issues such as the conservation of the tuna population, tracking the entire supply chain from its habitat to the supermarket counter, or they explore opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enlarging solar energy projects through distributed supply.
Another interesting use of blockchain for environmental protection was found by the nonprofit organization SEED Madagascar, whose actions are aimed at improving the lives of the population and preserving the animals of the African island nation.
Blockchain Will Solve Six Key Environmental Problems
Research breaks down the sectors in which distributed ledger technology can bring significant benefits into six areas: climate change, the conservation of Earth's biodiversity, the challenges of the world's oceans, air purity, weather resistance, and resistance to natural disasters. Each direction, in turn, is divided into narrower segments.
The report concluded that the potential of blockchain in the environmental safety sector is usually not taken into account by developers, investors, and governments. But this is the only way to unblock and monetize the value that is contained in the new ecosystems.
The technology of the distributed ledger, as emphasized in the report, should focus on the possibilities of helping mankind solve global environmental problems and expand opportunities for societies.