The ZERO Carbon Commitment is an Interchain Foundation Earth Program initiative for Cosmos chains to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for their network validator node infrastructure, and then at all levels of their operations.
The Earth Program is implementing Research and Development, strategic partnerships, advocacy and education for blockchain and related technologies to support socio-economic sustainability, ecological regeneration, and climate action.
Call to Action
Are you interested in offsetting your project's carbon footprint? Sign up here for updates and more information.
We invite every participant of the working group to contribute to the proposed next steps and to pick some actions that they can take some accountability for to move this initiative forward in a decentralised way.
A few months ago, we shared an overview of the blockchain technology impact on the environment.
Similar to IT services, the environmental impact from blockchain servers/validators is two-fold:
- “Operating costs” from carbon emissions generated by electricity consumption from carbon sources;
- “Capital costs” of replacing electronic equipment, with material carbon consumption, and electronic waste that has negative impacts on the environment.
In addition, there are impacts from business operations, as in any other activity –such as powering offices, people’s transportation, etc.
Since then, supported by the Interchain Earth Mission and the Interchain Foundation (ICF), discussions have begun within the Cosmos ecosystem, with a working group and physical meetings that kicked off during the Lisbon CosmoVerse (Un)conference.
The Zero Emissions Working Group
The working group has started with the participation of impact-focused:
- Projects such as Regen, IXO, Forbole, IRISnet and LoaLabs
- Validators such as BlockScope, BloClick, Gateway.fm, Chorus One and StakeLab
The Interchain Foundation equally holds support. The objective of this group is to pick up the challenges of blockchain environmental impacts. Firstly, in the Cosmos ecosystem, where the initiative is emerging and being supported, and secondly, to serve as an example for other ecosystems.
Cosmos technology is by design very energy efficient. PoS vs. PoW is about 2 million times more efficient. Furthermore, the hardware requirement of PoS is much lighter than for PoW, and projects such as notional-labs are setting up very simple prerequisites (not successful yet).
Even with this promising start, there is still room to work towards ZERO.
A primary part of the effort has been reviewing and understanding where each project and validator stands in terms of awareness. The working group developed a survey. If you are active in the blockchain ecosystem as a validator or project developer, you can participate in this survey.
The initial results clearly show interest from the vast majority of the community for practical knowledge and tools to measure and offset their emissions. However, there is pressure between reducing impact and reducing security, the latter still being the top priority for validator operations.
Furthermore, this survey is bringing suggestions and ideas to light on how to proceed, and any interested parties can get involved.
BloClick and BlockScope have suggested a comprehensive list of initiatives for validators and ways to incentivise them in a roadmap proposal.
Regen Network has developed calculators to estimate the validator energy consumption based on hardware, which can be used to estimate the energy carbon footprint at the protocol level.
Regen is releasing their service to deal with carbon credits on-chain soon, in an IBC-compatible way, which paves the way for automated carbon offsets via carbon credits purchases.
In the short-term, the working group intends to package these tools and guidelines in a format that’s easy to share, digest and re-use by all participants. It offers a “ready-made” governance proposal for the Cosmos chains to signal their intention to join this initiative.
You can find the recap of the latest working group call here.
The Governance Proposal
The short-term objective of this initiative is to inform the different communities on each protocol, raise their awareness of the environmental impacts of blockchain operations and express their intentions to operate sustainably.
In the true decentralised approach of sovereign chains, achieving this is via independent and voluntary adoption of governance proposals on each ecosystem chain. The work of this group is to make this proposition and adoption as frictionless as possible, and leave all the attention bandwidth on discussing the actual topics instead of the practical logistics.
The vision for this governance proposal is to use this GitHub repo with already pre-packaged proposals, tools and discussion materials to aid the community discussions.
Join the Effort
Please reach out if you would like to join. Inform us of your ideas, suggestions, questions or how you could help on the Interchain Foundation's Twitter, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, fill in the survey and contribute to the roadmap.