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Hardware at the SberBit cryptocurrency mining equipment facility in Moscow. Photo: Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via Getty Images

While some global policies for mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects have been put in place, there is no integrated system to track progress against those goals and evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches.

The big picture: As public and private sector leaders attempt to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, a blockchain-based system could allow parties to monitor which strategies to reduce carbon emissions work, which don’t, and how much each contributes.

Details: The Paris Agreement is decentralized and bottom-up, making it a promising sandbox for blockchain, which strings together data to generate a permanent record that can be continuously viewed, updated and verified by users at all levels.

How it works: Côte d’Ivoire’s NDC, for example, entails reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2030, which could be achieved by sourcing 42% of its energy from renewables in the same timeframe. A blockchain-based system could verify not only whether those goals have been reached, but also how their achievement contributes to global progress.

Another essential application is tracking climate finance flows. Whether at the global, national, firm or household level, blockchain can verify products, services and distributors in energy and agricultural industries. Owing to its open nature, blockchain can also reduce costs associated with complex supply chains and connect disparate markets.

Yes, but: Blockchain isn’t a silver bullet, and consumes a great deal of energy itself.

  • Defining the metrics for impacts, on both emissions and costs, will be technically and politically complicated. Tracking and comparing adaptation approaches will be particularly challenging, as they are highly local and context-specific.
  • Creating such a system on a global scale presents considerable legal and governance challenges.
  • There is little that technology can do to solve regulatory and institutional challenges or a lack of political ambition.

What to watch: There is already momentum to bring blockchain to climate policy, with pioneers testing out peer-to-peer systems for energy trading, marine fuels, renewable energy credits (RECs), and carbon credit tokenization.

Alzbeta Klein is the director for climate business at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.

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