A new project is looking to help the world’s poorest people through the economic hardship caused by climate change.
Called Riv Nut, it’s being developed by the nonprofit organisation Climate Justice, and aims to use blockchain technology to identify and remove carbon from the planet’s atmosphere.
The group aims to make the transition as seamless as possible, in order to avoid a return to the status quo in which carbon emissions are held to a national and global average.
The project is based in New Zealand, and will be launched in 2017.
It’s aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent, which is comparable to the emissions of some major cities such as Tokyo, London, Paris and Tokyo.
It also aims to increase food production, and reduce poverty.
In order to achieve the goal, Riv has created an automated program called a ‘smart contract’, which allows participants to agree to be paid in real time by a blockchain, or a ledger, which can be stored on the blockchain.
The contract then updates the ledger to reflect the amount of CO2 they’ve been emitting.
“The idea is that it’s going to be a very secure way to track carbon emissions and, by doing so, it will give the people of the world a better understanding of how much they are contributing to the climate change problem,” said Riv co-founder and CEO, David Kravets.
“What is really interesting is that we have a system that’s very similar to a real estate contract, which means that you can basically set up an investment contract that gives you an idea of how many shares you have, or how much money you have to invest in a particular project.
That’s a very similar system.”
The project was developed in collaboration with New Zealand’s Centre for Climate and Energy Research, and was launched in June this year.
Kravett explained that the system works on the assumption that a project is going to generate money, but is then given a token, called a carbon offset, which represents a share of the money being generated.
The carbon offset will be split between the participants in the project, and can then be used to reduce their carbon footprint.
In some cases, the carbon offset could be as little as $1 per share.
“It’s very straightforward and you can go to any public website that has a platform where you can put the tokens and you’ll see that you’ll be able to do this automatically, and you will have an automatic rebate,” Kravet explained.
“You don’t have to actually buy the tokens yourself, you can just sign up to the platform and then you can buy the carbon offsets that you need.
So you’ll get a rebate of a certain amount, but it’s really the same amount of money that you paid for the tokens, and that’s just the carbon that you are actually paying for. “
Then when you have paid, you will be able actually have the tokens refunded, because the cost of the tokens will be refunded.
So we’ve created a system where people can actually buy carbon offsets and put them into a smart contract, so that you get that rebate and it is completely transparent.” “
So it’s very simple and it’s an alternative to just getting up and paying for carbon offsets, which could have been an extra cost that we could have had to deal with if the world was doing the wrong thing, because carbon offsets are expensive and the carbon we need to pay for is also expensive.
So we’ve created a system where people can actually buy carbon offsets and put them into a smart contract, so that you get that rebate and it is completely transparent.”
The team behind the project has already found that it works in practice.
“Riv has found that the carbon-offset scheme works pretty well, and has also found that carbon offsets can be purchased in a lot of other places, and also through some of the other companies that are working on this,” Kavets explained.
The first round of the project is still in its infancy, but so far, over 100 participants have signed on, and so far the system has reduced CO2 by around 20 per cent.
“We’ve found that by using carbon offsets to reduce carbon emissions, people have actually saved money and they’ve actually reduced their carbon footprints.
That has led to a huge increase in people signing up to Riv, and we hope that we can get the scheme to be implemented around the world,” said Kravebs.
Riv aims to be the first project in the world to use blockchains to achieve a sustainable transition to a low-carbon economy.
“In order to help mitigate climate change, we need carbon offsets,” said the project’s co-founders, who also explain how they see the technology working in practice, and are currently working on scaling the system.
The initial team of 15 is still learning about the technology, and Kravebts hopes that it will be ready for launch