Roundtable with Energy and Climate Teams
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INATBA Energy and Climate Teams Meet, Outline Actions to Address Key Challenges

Working Groups Hold Virtual Roundtables, Issue Joint Statement

BRUSSELS, March 30, 2020 — The Energy and Climate Action working groups of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) hosted joint roundtables Thursday and issued a joint call to action to both communities.

Attended by almost 50 participants, the invitation-only roundtables, held during the official Berlin Energy Week, had two key objectives:

  • To inform participants of the current status and most pressing issues of the respective groups in bringing distributed ledger technology into the service of climate action goals and the successful transition of the energy sector towards sustainability.
  • To identify actionable points and agree on next steps.

Following the roundtables, the INATBA Working Group co-chairs issued the following joint statement: “The potential benefits of blockchain to help achieve sustainability, whether energy and climate action as well as more broadly, require intensified collaborative and innovative approaches among stakeholders in the tech community with the various domains to implement the actions. This involves building a network for a concerted effort of stakeholders — policy, financial, tech, business, citizen, research. INATBA was created to advance these activities, to put in place the groundwork to enable the 2020s to be the decade of change.”

The Energy Working Group co-chairs are Bara Greplova and Irene Adamski. The Climate Action Working Group cochairs are Tom Baumann and Pedro Ramón López.

Each segment identified the following challenges within the ecosystem. Within energy:

  1. Regulatory and legal — How to transition from and merge with legacy systems and policies to DLT with the benefit for each market participant? What are the mechanisms to bring proof-of-concept to reality? How to create one overarching regulation with a common goal, which would cater for individual regions’ differences/specifications? How to ensure competitiveness and fairness for incumbent players and startups?
  2. Education and information flow — How to best educate (and what segments of society), provide information and knowledge sharing (and in what format), and how to prevent misinformation about DLT?
  3. Legacy systems and infrastructure — Use cases and sandboxes utilisation, and asset registries.

Within climate action:

  1. Lack of understanding about DLT technologies and strategies within the climate community. Opposition by many stakeholders towards all DLT-based initiatives due to the view that all DLT is energy/emissions intensive and of limited value to enhance climate action.
  2. Lack of coherent digital ecosystem and coherent understanding within the DLT community of the challenges of climate change, in terms of the extensive variety of climate actions and systemic approach.
  3. The systemic change needed to achieve climate goals and SDGs requires greater coordination among stakeholders across sectors, which needs social and governance innovations (e.g. new incentive mechanisms).

The roundtables yielded the following results and next steps:

For the Energy group:

  1. Gather a list of “first-generation issues” of sandboxes;
  2. Create guidelines on digital identities for real world use cases;
  3. Use output of pilots and sandboxes for specific recommendations to regulators on how best to simplify and update the regulatory framework;
  4. Make recommendations of consortium building on decentralized infrastructure;
  5. Create GDPR guidelines for DLT projects;
  6. Have more frequent smaller roundtables focused on more specific scenarios, rather than a larger roundtable on more topics.

For the Climate Action group:

  1. Develop a resource (database) targeting policy makers with a systematic framework and assessment of the array of blockchain opportunities for climate actions in terms of what resources could be deployed for stakeholders to enhance capabilities to act (i.e. climate actions), to incentivize their willingness to act, and to empower them to act.
  2. Develop capacity building and stakeholder participation resources, for example via collaborative networks both at the local and global levels.
  3. Create frameworks and architectures that would provide a means to support the transition from existing to new systems:
  • Research, resources and pilots to target the major issues across climate action and establishing a cohesive “data and digital innovation infrastructure” to support the synergies throughout the digital innovation community, empower stakeholders and mobilize resources to enhance climate actions.
  • Core solutions (e.g. unique object identifier (UOI)) are needed to secure the ability for cohesive and scalable actions due to the high variability of data resources and maturity across sectors.
  • Improve the accessibility to data and digital resources to support mass participation.
  • Improve the veracity of impact claims and link UOI with unique impact accounting.
  • Focus on the interoperability and standardization — at the level of blockchain/digital/IOT-data, as well as climate governance/NDCs/MRV, and finance to overcome the complexity of climate and support coordination across climate.