Building Sustainable Cities with Blockchain

Today, Dubai has ranked as a top global business hub, a direct result of the tremendous amount of expansion and growth in the past decade. This progress eventually has cost the city in terms of environment pollution and they stand at the threshold of a global challenge: climate change due to carbon emission.

  • Carbon emission is happening in large rate for depending heavily on expensive, energy-driven processes, such as the spectacular fountain show staged every 15 minutes outside Dubai Mall to dazzle tourists, gallons of water are churned up in A/C units each day. While residents are suffering in searing temperatures. 
  • A quick glance at the statistics suggests that, the UAE has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world. As per the UAE State of Energy Report (published in January,2015), reveals that - the UAE produced just under 20 tonnes of CO2 emissions per head of population in 2010, a 63 percent increase from 2000. 
  • Transportation, Water and Electricity are accountable for 22 and 33 percent of green-house gas emission respectively. According to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), an average person uses 20,000 kilowatt-hours of energy and 130 gallons of water per year in Dubai, while water consumption across the UAE was estimated to be around 500 litres per day in 2013 (according to the Federal Electricity and Water Authority). This was 82 percent above the global average and three times higher than average per capita consumption in the European Union.
  • Waste levels per capita are also among the highest in the world, with Abu Dhabi alone producing between 1.8kg and 2.4kg per person per day – almost double that of the UK.

But the UAE remains firm in its decision that by the time of the World Expo 2020 event, it will be the most sustainable city ever. To tackle such a massive problem Dubai has thus declared its wish to become a blockchain powered country by 2020. At least 50 percent of the World Expo site is to be constructed from recyclable materials and powered with renewable energy, claimed Reem Al Hashimy, UAE minister of state and managing director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Committee.

sustainability image.jpg

We can monitor and manage carbon emission from different industries if the respective carbon footprint can be tracked and stored in Blockchain. As Blockchain is an open source, openly governed ledger it can monitor progress on carbon emissions that is beyond corruption, and therefore can offer a clear picture of a complex situation. 

Imagine a world in which carbon emissions and credits can be tracked transparently and reliably. Retailers will be able to sell a product and take into account the carbon impact it creates at the same time. Governments will be able to measure, track and trade emissions transparently. And for the first-time consumers will be able to understand the environmental impact of the products they are buying – both positive and negative.

IBM has already created a blockchain-based asset management system to help businesses in China monitor and manage their carbon emissions.

Nespresso France has become the first company to record its climate-positive actions on a new blockchain-based register.