The World Economic Forum Forms a New Crypto Sustainability Coalition

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(Kitco News) – The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the formation of a new Crypto Sustainability Coalition that will explore how Web3 and blockchain tools can be used to achieve positive climate action.

The Switzerland-based NGO announced the new coalition on Wednesday during a panel discussion titled “Web3’s Climate Impact,” outlining that it will include 30 partners at the intersection of sustainable development and Web3, crypto and blockchain technologies.

Coalition members will explore the potential positive impact of technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on environmental and social agendas.

“The launch of the coalition comes at the right time given the urgent need to support the decarbonization of cryptocurrency and ensure the industry is part of the climate solution,” said Madeleine Hillyer, US media specialist for the WEF, in a press release. “In addition, there must be regulatory clarity that encourages Web3 innovation, protects consumers and improves financial inclusion.”

To advance these efforts, the coalition will support research and development, share best practices and influence regulation on climate-related matters.

The crypto industry as a whole is relatively energy intensive. Bitcoin alone has an annual carbon footprint equivalent to that of the country of Greece and its energy consumption equivalent to that of the United Arab Emirates, according to the Digiconomist Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

The coalition will be divided into working groups that will focus on three main areas of interest: energy use, Web3’s potential for climate action, and on-chain carbon credits.

The energy consumption group will analyze the energy and material consumption of the crypto industry to better understand its impact on climate and nature. The Web3 working group will “explore ways in which Web3 innovations could address the challenges of the low-carbon transition at the pace needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals”. The on-chain carbon credits working group will explore the ability of blockchain-based carbon credits to address the current deficiencies in global carbon markets.

The list of partners joining this new endeavor includes Accenture, Avalanche, Avatree, CC Token, Circle, Climate Collective, Crypto Council for Innovation, Emerge, Energy Web Foundation, eToro, EY, Flowcarbon, Heifer International, KlimaDAO, Lukka , NEAR Foundation, Nori, PlanetWatch, Plastiks, Rainforest Partnership, Recykal, ReSeed, Ripple, Solana, Stellar Development Foundation, STEWARD, Sustainable Bitcoin Standard, The Global Brain, Toucan Protocol, University of Lisbon and Zero Labs.

The coalition’s broader goal is to “promote a broad awareness campaign about the potential and capacity of web3, to better inform governments on how to regulate these technologies and to incentivize investment and research into their development,” the WEF said .

This new coalition was made possible by the Crypto Impact and Sustainability Accelerator (CISA), a grant-funded initiative launched by the Forum in January 2022 to increase understanding of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts of crypto to promote technologies.

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