Why Digitizing Carbon Offsets Matters in Sub-Saharan Africa

Elevating Sustainability: The Crucial Role of Digitizing Carbon Offsets in Sub-Saharan Africa's Environmental Landscape

12/28/20233 min read

Okay, let's picture a superhero tech – Blockchain. It's like a shared, super-secure system that can be a game-changer for fighting climate change, especially in places like Sub-Saharan Africa where things are a bit tricky.

Most carbon credits, which are like rewards for being kind to the planet, come from places that face challenges like proving they own the assets. Blockchain steps in as a hero, solving these issues. This technology can make the carbon market more transparent and open the door for regular people to get involved.

Now, imagine this – putting carbon credits into a blockchain could make them more transparent and easier to trade. This could turn carbon into a valuable asset, attracting big investors who want to make a difference.

The demand for this is growing fast. Many big companies want to balance out their carbon emissions and are buying these carbon credits until better tech is available. This is crucial because it helps protect places like dense rainforests, acting as a financial boost for projects that fight climate change and support sustainable development.

The carbon market is growing, and blockchain can make it even bigger. Currently, it covers just 1% of the carbon emission problem, but experts think it could grow a lot – like 15 to 100 times bigger by 2050. That's a big deal for our planet's low-carbon future.

Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa's Carbon Market

Now, think of the carbon market in Sub-Saharan Africa as a complex game with many players. The process of buying and selling carbon credits is slow and expensive, making it hard for many to join. Most deals happen behind the scenes, through layers of brokers, making it complicated and not very transparent.

Blockchain can be a game-changer here. Imagine tokens backed by carbon credits, using smart contracts that work with different devices. It's like turning a difficult game into something everyone can play. Blockchain can make the whole process faster, cheaper, and more direct.

In 2021, about 300 million tons of carbon credits were traded, mostly behind the scenes. But with blockchain, this can change. Blockchain-based trading, which was almost nothing a few years ago, grew to almost 17 million tons in a few months. It shows that blockchain can bring more people into the carbon market.

Blockchain Solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa's Carbon Market

Blockchain brings some cool solutions. First, it makes everything transparent. Every step of a carbon credit's life – creation, sale, or multiple trades – can be seen by everyone involved. It's like playing a game where everyone knows the rules.

Second, blockchain can make the carbon market more lively by breaking down entry barriers. Instead of a long process to buy a carbon credit, millions of people already using blockchain systems can join in. Blockchain cuts out the middlemen, making transactions between sellers and buyers efficient and low-cost.

Now, imagine Sub-Saharan Africa's carbon market in the blockchain world. In 2021, most deals happened behind the scenes, but blockchain can change that. It can bring more people into the game, making the carbon market accessible to everyone.

Blockchain - Changing the Game for Sub-Saharan Africa's Carbon Market

Some say blockchain is like the internet in the 1990s – weird and scary but full of potential. The World Bank is even using an open-source blockchain called Climate Warehouse for global carbon markets. This is a big deal and shows how blockchain can help the planet.

People criticize blockchain for using a lot of energy, but newer versions like Polygon are much greener. They use a different method called 'proof-of-stake,' which is way less energy-intensive. Blockchain is like building a new digital system for carbon credits, simplifying and modernizing the carbon market.

Beyond all the tech talk, digitizing carbon credits can be a superhero move for people in Sub-Saharan Africa, helping us tackle climate change head-on.