Hyperledger Foundation has launched the Hyperledger Climate Action & Accounting (CA2) Special Interest Group (SIG) to facilitate focused technical, business and global-level conversations and projects related to appropriate use cases for blockchain and compatible emerging digital technologies across the climate sector.
As presented to the recent worldwide COP27 global climate conference in Egypt(2022), Hyperledger’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) provides climate accounting solutions designed to balance climate emissions to achieve a net-zero future. In this effort it is building a suite of open source tools to enable parties in supply chains to share data on emissions activities to create emission profiles at organizational and product levels.
The Hyperledger Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group (CA2SIG) fosters a collaborative network of climate, blockchain DLT, and other emerging technology organizations (i.e. universities, NGOs, government, startups, corporations, multilateral development banks, etc.) that can create a center of gravity around leveraging open source software to address challenges in the global climate action, policy and digital accounting space.
By Jeff Pribich, BIG United States Ambassador, and Sherwood Moore Lopez, Chair, Hyperledger Climate Action and Accounting Solution
Hyperledger – https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/CASIG/Charter
LinkedIn Profile – Sherwood Moore
Jeff Pribich: Please tell us about Hyperledger’s Climate Action and Accounting Mission:
Sherwood Moore: Climate change presents an existential threat to humanity and will require the greatest mobilization of resources and collaboration in human history. In this effort, the Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group (CA2SIG) is focused on supporting the development of an open global climate accounting system to support stakeholders’ efforts to manage our single planetary carbon budget and help achieve the goals set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) such as the Paris Agreement.
Jeff: You mentioned Hyperledger special interest groups. Can you provide further detail?
Sherwood: Special Interest Groups (SIG) gather community members from an industry segment to work on domain-specific problems and create an environment for open discussion, document co-creation and develop solutions through the CA2SIG Lab. The scope of the CA2SIG is defined by the terms climate action and climate accounting. Climate Action is a broadly encompassing term that involves all climate-relevant actions (e.g., policies, programs, technologies, goods, services) taken by actors (e.g., state and non-state actors such as businesses, cities, individuals). Climate Accounting, on the other hand, is referred to by the SIG as the encompassing term that involves all processes of recording climate-relevant information/data.
Jeff: We’re very interested, of course, in practical use cases for blockchain technologies and, when you add open source technology to it, that sounds especially interesting. Tell us more about the CA2SIG project?
Sherwood: The CA2SIG is exploring the use of blockchain DLT alongside other emerging technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), big data, and machine learning to address the challenge of keeping a transparent climate accounting system towards the climate targets by the private and public sector and goals laid out by the UNFCCC, include the Paris Agreement and future international treaties. In addition to research, the CA2SIG is developing a suite of solutions that contribute to a larger Open Source Climate Accounting System through the CA2SIG Hyperledger Labs project. Current work includes:
- A Net Emissions Token (NET) Network: which can be used to record and track emissions profiles by incorporating emissions debt and credit tokens at the organizational, individual, and product level.
- The Emissions Data Channel: used to source, aggregate, and verify emissions data from both public and private enterprise data sources to o mint tokens on the NET Network.
- Secure Identifier Solutions to provide identity and credential management for the Net Emissions Token Network and Emissions Data Channel Solutions.
Jeff: This is a decentralized project thus, Stakeholder’s participate in CA2SIG’s decision-making but there must still be a core leadership team? Can you describe your leadership team?
Sherwood: The Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group is led by Sherwood Moore. The research work and technical solutions being developed are each run by lead maintainers and supporting researchers and/or developers. Current prototypes are managed within Hyperledger Labs supported by the Hyperledger Foundation.
Jeff: Tell us more about the blockchain technology you’ll be utilizing. Is it on a specific existing platform or one you’re creating yourself?
Sherwood: Hyperledger platforms provide a full ecosystem to produce blockchain based DLT solutions. DLTs are central to the creation of a global and open climate accounting system that helps integrate all actors and actions under the same planetary goal. Hyperledger tools and frameworks are used to develop and maintain a shared record-keeping ledger with global consensus (i.e., a ‘ledger of ledger’ where all parties agree).
The Hyperledger Architecture Working Group(WG) has distinguished the following business blockchain components:
- Consensus Layer – Responsible for generating an agreement on the order and confirming the correctness of the set of transactions that constitute a block.
- Smart Contract Layer – Responsible for processing transaction requests and determining if transactions are valid by executing business logic.
- Communication Layer – Responsible for peer-to-peer message transport between the nodes that participate in a shared ledger instance.
- Data Store Abstraction – Allows different data-stores to be used by other modules.
- Crypto Abstraction – Allows different crypto algorithms or modules to be swapped out without affecting other modules.
- Identity Services – Enables the establishment of a root of trust during setup of a blockchain instance, the enrollment and registration of identities or system entities during network operation, and the management of changes like drops, adds, and revocations. Also, provides authentication and authorization.
- Policy Services – Responsible for policy management of various policies specified in the system, such as the endorsement policy, consensus policy, or group management policy. It interfaces and depends on other modules to enforce the various policies.
- APIs – Enables clients and applications to interface to blockchains.
- Interoperation – Supports the interoperability of different blockchain instances.
Hyperledger platforms include Fabric, Firefly, Besu, Indy, Aries and Cactus for example. More detail can be found at https://wiki.hyperledger.org.
Jeff: What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of this platform over others?
Sherwood: The Climate Action & Accounting SIG leverages the Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation’s know-how for the development of an open source and decentralized climate accountability network that both operationalizes transparency (i.e., Article 13 of the Paris Accord) whilst enhancing each actor’s personal privacy, security, and control. Hyperledger frameworks provide trusted record-keeping processes, data consensus and rules automation — crucially needed components in order to align actors, accelerate mitigation and adaptation action, and mobilize the trillions of dollars of finance required annually. Hyperledger’s ecosystem and DLTs are central to the creation of a global and open climate accounting system that helps integrate all actors and actions under the same planetary goal. The advantages proposed by DLT based solutions are also linked to significant challenges involving the onboarding of multiple stakeholders. This includes technology adoption barriers that impact the ability of a network to scale and reach critical mass. However, the suite of technologies being developed across the suits of Hyperledger open-source projects that can help address these issues, such a Hyperledger Bevel used to deploy secure, scalable and production ready DLT network(s).
Jeff: What do you want people to know about your project that they might not already know?
Sherwood: All Hyperledger projects follow a design philosophy that includes a modular extensible approach, interoperability, an emphasis on highly secure solutions, a token-agnostic approach with no native cryptocurrency, and the development of a rich and easy-to use Application Programming Interface (API).
Sherwood Moore Lopez
Chair, Hyperledger Climate Action and Accounting Solution