The Russian Blockchain Revolution
Moscow, Russian Federation
The DAO IPCI Team at the Innovate4Climate event in Barcelona
IMAGE: Russian Carbon Fund
As Russia officially celebrates the Year of the Environment in 2017, one climate group has revolutionised the way carbon credits will be purchased forever.
The Moscow-based Russian Carbon Fund and leading French climate finance group Aera Group have pioneered the very first worldwide carbon credit transaction using blockchain technology. The pilot transaction was executed on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 8:00 am (UTC+1:00), with the Russian Carbon Fund acting as the purchaser, and Aera Group, who are the largest supplier of carbon credits in Africa, acting as the seller in the DAO IPCI blockchain ecosystem.
The Verified Carbon Units acquired by the Russian Carbon Fund are intended to offset carbon
emissions by airline passengers both in Russia and internationally. By raising and catalysing pre-compliance and voluntary CO2 offsets demand, the new transaction has been heralded by many experts as one of the most significant developments in the burgeoning Russian carbon market and in the incorporation of blockchain technology into the international carbon market ecosystem.
The move was born out of a need for corporates in the Russian Federation to offset their emissions and aim for carbon neutrality via the purchase of carbon offsets in a safe and transparent manner, whilst being free from fraud and manipulation. With the country moving ever so closer to the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the DAO IPCI promises to help Russia meet her ambitious targets and achieve the associated environmental benefits.
CEO and Founder of the Russian Carbon Fund, Alexey Shadrin, had this to say: "We have just witnessed a truly historical moment for the global low carbon economy - the first ever blockchain based climate deal. I am sure that our successful joint effort will mark the beginning of a new era of climate cooperation between nations and help the world reach sustainable development goals."
Ongoing technical and IT support has been provided by Microsoft Russia and Airalab. DAO IPCI also enjoys an ongoing working relationship with Baker McKenzie on the structure of the CO2 blockchain platform. As the world's leading multi-national law firm, Baker McKenzie are bringing to the table many years of corporate expertise to ensure the transactions remain of the highest possible calibre. The new CO2 exchange / blockchain platform will ensure more transparency, greater integrity and lower transaction costs for buyers and sellers of carbon credits and other environmental mitigation outcomes.
Anton Galenovich, Chairman of the Council of the Russian Carbon Fund, explained that "The platform developers’ idea is to provide common space for fair competition, provide early crediting, offsetting carbon footprint opportunities for the companies, and break the barriers dividing locations and types of high quality mitigation outcomes. Russian market mechanisms are in the trial pilot phase and may have significant offsetting capacity on the supply and the demand side in near future. Russian carbon credits developed and assured under strict requirements of the Integrated Program for Climate Initiatives are still under verification process to be issued in DAO IPCI ecosystem."
Aera Group and the Russian Carbon Fund also announced a partnership which will provide Russian buyers with direct and long term access to African carbon credits of the highest quality. Fabrice Le Saché, Executive Chairman of the Aera Group, stressed the significance of this new partnership: “We strongly believe that Russia will become a key player of the international climate transition in the years to come. Beyond environment, this is a matter of economic competition and performance as it drives innovation. We are pleased to pioneer a market and a technology at same time. We expect to connect Russian corporates with charismatic African CO2 offset projects yielding mitigation and adaptation benefits."
Following on from the success of the first transaction and widespread coverage of the event, many climate-based organisations such as the London-based GeoCapita were keen to explore the advantages of using the DAO IPCI platform, whilst companies, such as pioneering Norwegian start-up Chooose, began using the DAO IPCI platform as a means of offering their clients high quality and instant carbon neutrality.
On the 26th June, one of the 'Big Four' accounting and auditing firms. EY (formerly Ernst & Young) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Carbon Fund to provide audits of the compliance and outcomes of the climate projects entering the blockchain system. The move was a clear signal that the DAO IPCI had gained the trust and respect of some of the biggest corporate players and shakers in the international carbon market industry.
The Russian Carbon Fund and other G20 participants gather together for a group photo at the G20 Summit 2017
IMAGE: Russian Carbon Fund
DAO IPCI at the 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit
In keeping with its mission to develop and implement sustainable international processes, the Russian Carbon Fund has become one of the first members of the F20 Foundations Platform.
The F20 Foundations Platform is an alliance of leading foundations and philanthropic organisations from G20 countries that have joined forces to enhance sustainable development, support a shift to a low-carbon economy and champion climate change mitigation globally. With the likes of WWF, the European Climate Foundation and Stiftung 2 Grad forming part of the steering committee, the F20 Platform has emerged as one of the strongest voices in favour of transnational action towards a zero carbon economy and a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The Russian Carbon Fund managed to take the opportunity to present the DAO IPCI blockchain ecosystem on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. CEO of the Russian Carbon Fund and Co-Founder of DAO IPCI Alexey Shadrin demonstrated the blockchain ecosystem to some of the most-esteemed foundation leaders and climate experts from Europe, India, the USA and China, among other nations. Mr Shadrin proposed to establish an F20 Working Group on how blockchain technology applications could help nations to reach the established international target of limiting global warming to well-below 2 degrees. The concept elicited very productive discussions and has set the stage for the carbon markets to tip towards highly decentralised autonomous blockchain transactions as the norm.
Looking to the future
It has been said that the key to success in sustainable development lies in access to the right ideas, and in the ability to attract the best and brightest from around the world. With the DAO IPCI, the Russian Carbon Fund have most certainly managed to get off to a flying start on both counts.
Thanks to the Russian Carbon Fund, blockchain technology can now not only provide the greater transparency that is so badly needed in the carbon trading market, but can also provide the backdrop for a global community of carbon offset projects. The stage has been set, the foundations laid and the future is looking very bright for the DAO IPCI.
The real test is now going to be whether there exists the international political will to do what is needed to be done for the carbon market industry.
To find out more about the Decentralized Autonomous Organization "Integral Platform for Climate Initiatives" please visit:
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