The Missing Link: How A Distributed Ledger System Can Support Global Climate Action

By Erika Drazen and Peter Graham

November 2017

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is an easily deployable technology that can play a critical underlying role in meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which requires an immediate and dramatic shift of our global economic systems. DLT has the potential to demonstrate how Non-State Actors and private sector companies in particular perform against their stated climate objectives, by making new data publicly available, that is directly incorporated into a wide range of financial transactions.

How can a change in our accounting practices be revolutionary? DLT has the potential to create consensus, based on data, between entities that may not necessarily trust each other. DLT can be integrated into market systems, offering greater transparency in transactions that currently lack visibility, and which are a source of continual tension between environmental campaigners and Fortune 500 companies. Quantitative, real-time, validated sustainability information, made available to anyone with an internet connection, has the power to ultimately drive a series of cascading actions throughout global supply chains.

The tools necessary to establish consensus on the accuracy of data are the foundation for DLT systems, which are built to require transparent and immutable information that can be made readily accessible through an android or iOS app. Such data could enable climate advocates, governments, consumer goods manufacturers and the financial sector to analyze and assess how a wide range of private sector companies and other non-state actors are performing against their stated conservation, environmental impact and emissions reductions commitments.