Climate change is indeed one of the critical issues of our time. Business managers should care because ultimately business cannot succeed in a world that’s failing.
The recent surge of superstorms that have been battering the Caribbean and the Southern US, the fires in Western Canada, and the extreme flooding experienced in many parts of the world have helped raised awareness of the impact of warming temperatures.
I remember a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where Bill Clinton was talking about climate change. He argued that if we were able to decrease global carbon emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2050 it would still take 1000 years for the planet to cool down. In the meantime, he said, you can expect a lot of bad things to happen – like a billion people losing most of their water supply in the next decade.
I left the room mind-boggled about the human tragedy that would result – death, migration, wars, and increased terrorism just for starters.
Clearly (to anyone who believes in science) climate change is arguably the world’s most daunting challenge. Virtually every scientist now agrees that the debate is over. Rising average surface temperatures combined with rapidly expanding deserts, melting Arctic sea ice caps and ocean acidification now provide unequivocal evidence that human activities are fundamentally altering the Earth’s climate. In fact the planet appears to be changing faster than even the pessimists expected—way faster.
For many people, those consequences seem distant, and it’s certainly true that the worst of it will be inherited by future generations. Given the short-term thinking that dominates our political systems, our economy, our capital markets, and our day-to-day decision-making as individuals, it is easy to be dismissive of the notion that humankind will suddenly become motivated by a sense of inter-generational justice to make the deep and difficult adjustments that are required to avert global ecological disruption.
It’s one thing for governments or corporations to take action, but more is needed – a global change in human behaviour. But what will it take to cause all of us radically reduce our own carbon footprint?
Today, I’m pleased to share news about the launch of our latest initiative, CarbonX. CarbonX has the ambitious mission to combat climate change by using blockchain technology.
CarbonX will engage millions of people to help fight climate change by encouraging them to making smart choices about their carbon consumption. The company plans to purchase carbon credits, or invest in carbon reduction programs, then distribute the offsets via major retailers and brands as loyalty tokens that will help incent people to make carbon-friendly decisions in their day-to-day purchases of goods and services. The tokens earned will be tradable on the CarbonX platform, or can be exchanged for carbon-friendly goods and services, other reward program points, or other digital currencies.
CarbonX is a partnership of leading blockchain thought leaders, talent and technology – Alex and I are part of the co-founding group, as is my brother Bill, and global blockchain specialist firm ConsenSys, is our partner in this joint venture.
If you’d like to read more, check out the press release that came out today here.