Panelists from the MENA Climate Week 2022 discussed how blockchain technology could be used to promote green initiatives.
The event was hosted by Dubai’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. It also featured the World Green Economy Organization and other institutions that are part of the United Nations Environment Programme and in partnership to renewable energy groups.
A panel of experts from blockchain and climate action discussed in one session how blockchain can be used to create a better future for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and worldwide during the event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The session was titled “Transformative Climate Action through Digitalization – Blockchain Technologies” and featured insights from Dr. Marwan Al Zaouni, Dubai Blockchain Centre’s Blockchain Centre founder, and Dr. Jane Thomason (Front Technology Leader, Cointelegraph’s editor-in-cheif Kristina Luzia Corner).
Panel members for the Transformative Climate Action Through Digitalization: Blockchain Technologies session during MENA Climate Week.
Climate advocates Sami Dimassi from the UN Environment Programme, Dr. Miroslav Pole of the IAAI and Tia Kansara, of Replenish Earth, Her Royal Hiness Princess Abze of Burkina Faso are all joined by Dr. Massamba Thioye, of UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub, and Ameera Al Haranki, Youth Climate Action Leader Ameera al Haranki. Each person shared their views and knowledge about how blockchain can be connected to climate action initiatives.
Sami Dimassi (Regional Director and Representative for the UN Environment Programme for West Asia), made his opening remarks. He highlighted several steps that can be taken to “tap into Blockchain use” to contribute to climate action. He emphasized the importance of promoting changes in policies, technological advancement to the climate sector, and increasing awareness and cooperation between communities.
Today’s #MenaClimateWeek event, Transformative Climate Action through Digitalization, @samidimassi_UN, highlighted the importance and potential of Blockchain technology in relation to transparency and clean energy attributes, climate finance, and carbon markets. pic.twitter.com/pj8JcLwUfc
— UN Environment Programme West Asia (@UNEP_WestAsia), March 29, 2022
Promoting changes in government regulations and policies
Dimassi stated that there are growing climate problems in the world and it is important to encourage government regulations and policies to enable digital innovation such as blockchain technology. The UN director pointed out that blockchain technology is a neutral technology, and it’s up the users to decide what they do with it.
If used correctly, “Blockchain” can increase transparency and efficiency in climate action. Blockchain is not good or bad in its own right for reaching climate targets. It all depends on how we use it.”
He stated that digital transformation was a compelling case and that blockchain solutions can be an asset to support climate change action.
Al Zarouni, in addition to Dimassi, also highlighted efforts by the UAE government for blockchain technology adoption. Al Zarouni referred to the Dubai Blockchain Strategy as a government-backed initiative to encourage blockchain adoption in the region.
He stated that the Dubai Blockchain Centre is dedicated to helping the UAE’s ecosystem understand blockchain technology. They also focus on discussions that bring together educators, regulators, and community members to learn more about the technologies behind it.
Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni is the CEO of Dubai Blockchain Centre, MENA Climate Week.
Climate action requires a technological evolution
Thomason spoke out about the many ways technological advancement is being brought into the climate sector by existing blockchain initiatives. Thomason said that blockchain technology contributes to climate action goals via green digital asset projects and smart grid management, nonfungible tokens, gamification and measurement, reporting and the use decentralized autonomous organisations for climate action.
Thomason was able to join the session remotely and discuss blockchain for climate action.
Thomason also pointed out transparency as one of the intrinsic characteristics of blockchain. She stated that blockchains can be used in order to automate environmental contributions detection and reward contributors using tokens. She explained:
“Blockchains are able to automate measurement and remunerate individuals responsible for positive contributions in specific areas. This benefits the entire environment.”
Thioye, along with Thomason, also acknowledged the potential of blockchain for climate action in his talk. Thioye believes current green initiatives can “definitely improve the climate over the long-term through incremental effects.” Blockchain tech could be incorporated into the mix to solve problems that are “infront of us.”
We can create something extremely powerful if we combine IoT to produce data, blockchain for the transfer and artificial intelligence for processing.
Related: A legal expert says UAE regulators are opening the way to crypto and blockchain adoption
Increase awareness and collaboration
Ameera Al Haranki, Youth Climate Action Leader, noted that climate empowerment is essential and that increasing awareness and collaboration in this sector is vital. Although she isn’t an expert on blockchain technology, she said she believes there is potential for it to be used in climate change action.
Al Haranki stated, “We must engage the youth and other members of society in climate action to find out more about what is going on.” Al Haranki, a youth leader, mentioned the importance of providing the tools needed to ensure the future of the next generation.
Corner, editor-in-chief at Cointelegraph, explained during the panel that the blockchain community is characterised not only by transparency, but also collaboration. Corner explained that this is evident in the many open-source tools available to the community.
“You can search for solutions, and find the fastest way to get them using different tools. This is the purpose of the blockchain community. […] Open-source tools are available to help you build your projects.
Corner noted that the community for climate action can also learn new terms and tools through the blockchain media.
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