The quest to undo the damages inflicted to our planet by man’s history and our current way of living will be a colossal undertaking that will span for generations. But how did we get here? . Innovations are what evolve us and what brings wealth and prosperity to our species. But innovation must be done responsibly. This is something we as humans more often than not – because of our nature – fail to do.
Politics, conflict and greed are just some factors that have put us in the situation we are in today, with a deteriorating climate that is rapidly becoming more and more extreme. For some, the consequences are unnoticeable, somewhere far off in the future. For some, the responsibility is “someone else’s”. Human corruption and power hunger has gotten in the way of what once started out as a noble quest to make our lives better, and now, the climate is in desperate need of help.
Fortunately, consumers are becoming more conscientious about the products and services they use. Now, many are starting to switch to eco-friendly options in a unified attempt to steer away the planet from the dire trajectory that it is following.
Web3 Among Environment Advocates
Web3 is being explored in all types of industries, given its potential to revolutionize our day-to-day affairs for the better, ….. However, Web3 is not equally popular in environment preservation, although it has the potential to complement other eco-friendly strategies, as will be discussed later.
Current Web3 initiatives have their own flaws, however. It has to be said. Many people regard blockchain technology with suspicion because of the bad publicity of crypto forerunners, most especially Proof-of-Work (PoW) networks like Bitcoin.
For the uninitiated, PoW mechanisms require miners to solve cryptographic puzzles to validate a transaction. This is the reason why it requires more energy consumption than any other consensus mechanism. Meanwhile, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) need validators to hold and stake tokens for the chance to earn transaction fees.
Since Bitcoin is extremely resistant to censorship as any node can broadcast a transaction or any miner can mine any transaction , it is viewed by many as the leading example of Web3. Unfortunately, because Bitcoin also utilizes PoW, its energy consumption is causing the rest of Web3 to become misunderstood among environment conservationists.
In October 2022, three researchers from the University of Cambridge, Earthjustice, and Scientific Reports all showed that the collective Bitcoin mining consumes tremendous amounts of energy and that this consumption releases harmful emissions comparable to that of the global total natural gas extraction or global total rearing of cattle for beef.
On the other hand, advocates claim that most of what they are using for mining operations come from burning waste or renewable energy sources. The Bitcoin Mining Council published a report in January 2022 that says Bitcoin mining collectively used 58.5% renewable energy during the last quarter of 2021.
Budding Web3 Options With Positive Climate Impacts
Even so, Bitcoin mining consumes vast amounts of energy — renewable or otherwise. This is energy that could be used to power electric vehicles or even poor towns in need of cheap electricity. This is why many have turned to power-efficient networks like Ethereum, Cardano, and Polygon.
These mentioned networks do not have a mining function similar to Bitcoin. Instead, they award new coins through staking. Moreover, Bitcoin only functions as a monetary system; a newer network like Polygon has a lot of uses like decentralized applications (DApps), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and of course, Web3.
These are the reasons why many environment-friendly Web3 organizations and platforms are using the aforementioned options. Some examples include the Big Green DAO, a non-profit organization supported by Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal, and Planet IX, a Web3 game that redirects profit into funding for environmental causes.
Big Green DAO’s aim is to topple down philanthropic hierarchies by democratizing grantmaking for food producers in the US. Meanwhile, Planet IX uses Polygon, which is now called the king of Web3. This innovative Web3 game is proactively using sales proceeds to fund real-world initiatives toward a greener planet.
Alongside the above-mentioned examples, there are also others focused on empowering retail players in the carbon credit market, proving that Web3 can help climate activists pave the way for success.
Another promising concept being discussed within climate advocacy groups is regenerative finance (ReFi), which is basically an expanded concept of DeFi.
According to an article published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ReFi is an overarching term that describes a way for climate advocates to mitigate carbon emissions and provide funding for eco-friendly endeavors.
While the Web3 community has not yet adopted ReFi as an official term, its concepts are already being practiced by many. For example, Planet IX encourages its players to give back to the environment by supporting the game’s climate activities.
Climate Awareness and Enthusiastic Cooperation
Climate awareness among the younger generations will happen if their preferred channels are targeted, which is why Planet IX is focusing on the NFT-based gaming sector.
Other Web3 climate strategies will become effective if newer generations are properly educated. In addition, advocates should shift the tone into something that will foster enthusiastic cooperation. Their task is to encourage everyone to become involved in building the world of tomorrow by reinvigorating the planet and preserving its resources.
To this end, climate advocates should become more open to what Web3 can offer. The task of the Web3 space is also to extend its arms to conservationists and show that there is indeed more to Web3 than crypto mining. Frontrunners like Big Green DAO and Planet IX are already showing how it’s done; soon, more Web3 climate initiatives will follow.