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How Distributed Ledger Technology Can Help our Dying Planet Become a Greener Place

Alo Kingsley   Nov 03, 2019 09:06 3 Min Read


Air pollution, one of the plagues currently troubling the human population. In countries like Delhi and china, because of severe air pollution, it is common to see people move around with gas masks, and sometimes motorists have to seal their car doors and windows with tape, because of the danger of breathing polluted air. Many may not know, but air pollution has become an epidemic, one threatening the survival of our race.

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What is the cause of this rising pollution?

Industrialization and urbanization, the very things that have been adding so much to our countries, are now killing them. The World Health Organization saysthat at least 4.2 million people die each year because of air pollution.

In light of this, different countries, in a bid to tackle the rising levels of pollution, have enforced strategies like more cycling, the use of public transport over individual automobiles, while in some regions the use of cars and other heavy industrial vehicles have been banned.

Even though these efforts have been a good stride in the direction of the reduction of air pollution, the world is coming to find out that they are not as effective as they intended, as we know, it isn’t just cars and industrial vehicles that cause air pollution, manufacturing industries contribute their quota too.

DLT and pollution

There are so many problems in the world that this technology can solve due to its advanced nature if we only thought in that direction. Foley Hoag, one of the world’s leading law firms says “all in all, blockchain is just a solution in search of a problem.” 

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The primary reason for the unchecked growth of air pollution is that there are no transparent and dependable means of monitoring pollution levels, especially with large companies, who sometimes falsify their records to avoid the penalties that come with polluting the environment. This would be impossible if blockchain technology were implemented in the monitoring of pollution.

So as we look at the world, with air pollution at an all-time high, is it possible that blockchain could be the answer?

Blockchain technology as a solution

There have been many considerations about using blockchain technology to mitigate pollution, but mostly just in the area of monitoring air pollution in all areas.

In September 2018, the World Economic Forum identified at least 65 ways in which blockchain technology could help fight many global challenges, especially air pollution, and one of the most viable solutions they came up with was the building of a next-generation monitoring system. A monitoring system that will track environmental threats, in the form of pollution (in real-time) which will also verify and report it immediately to authorities and the defaulters will be fined heavily.

Apart from this another organization, the Blockchain for Climate Foundation, is setting plans to integrate blockchain technology into the national carbon accounts in different countries around the world, - a practice setup up to keep tabs on carbon dioxide emissions- to connect all the accounts together, encouraging cross border collaboration among these entities, which will go a long way to ensure the minimization of emissions into the atmosphere.

Apart from trust and dependability and one major issue affecting the current systems built to mitigate air pollution is their lack of scalability, which the Chinese government has responded to by developing a blockchain application called the blue sky. The app enables members of the public to verify the amount of pollution in the air and water around them in real-time. This act has put so much pressure on the companies adding to the rate of pollution in their country, forcing them to find ways to reduce it.

Finally, we can see that beyond every doubt, this technology seems to carry down disruptive potentials with it that would not just change the world but adjust the already existing ways of doing things. In the nearest future, the fear of a dying planet could be a thing of the past if things go right.

 

Images via Shutterstock






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