Beatrice Addis

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10484

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Addis, Beatrice (Washington U., St. Louis) "Crypto for Climate: the politics of emerging blockchain technologies for climate mitigation"

The last year has seen a proliferation of climate-tech start-ups promising to use blockchain based (crypto) technologies to ‘save the world’. Examples include selling land as NFTs (digital assets) in order to create a ‘green belt’ to stop deforestation, and tokenizing (turning into digital currency) carbon credits in order to massively scale up the global carbon market. These projects essentially involve companies creating digital assets, which represent land and/or labor, and selling them to fund the acquisition of that land and/or labor for stipulated conservation and sustainability projects. Many of these early projects are focused on the Amazon due to its iconic status in global environmental discourse, however they are explicitly designed to scale in such a way that would mean creating a global mechanism for the rapid introduction of huge amounts of resource into local environments and communities. This resource is also loaded with the interests and potential governance influence of the global tech elite, the impact of which, remains to be seen.