Liverpool docks at night

Liverpool trials blockchain technology in push to become ‘climate positive’

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The city is aiming to be the first “carbon positive” city by the end of 2020, partially through support for forest conservation projects. This ambitious goal requires the city to more than offset its carbon emissions.

Liverpool City Council hopes to offset more than 110 per cent of its carbon emissions. It aims to become the first climate-positive authority by the end of 2018 and the first climate-positive city by the end of 2020.

For the first year of this project, the city authority will work with the Poseidon Foundation, experimenting with its carbon-offsetting blockchain platform. It will be the first instance of a city adopting blockchain technology in its carbon mitigation efforts.

The Poseidon Foundation’s blockchain-based platform links activities and purchases associated with carbon emissions to climate-positive actions – at present, assisting with forest conservation – to entirely offset them.

A user making a purchase, for instance, has the cost of the required carbon offset for this purchase (“carbon credits”) added automatically to their bill. These credits go towards supporting international forest conservation efforts. For the user, the process can be overseen with a simple app.

Poseidon’s blockchain – a chain of cryptographically secured distributed records which are highly resistant to meddling – provides transparency for all purchases and carbon offsets.

The platform is already being used by ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s to offset the environmental impact of making ice cream.

In a statement, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Poseidon’s technology is the first of its kind to truly deliver a solution to governments, businesses and individuals around the world to help reverse the causes of climate change and I am thrilled this agreement will bring this cutting-edge technology to our city.”

“Liverpool City Council has a significant carbon footprint because of all the services we provide, be it street lighting, the running of countless properties […] and our fleet of vehicles. We are already making significant strides to reduce our impact by 40 per cent by 2030, but that is not enough.”

The Foundation will be moving its operations from Malta to Liverpool, where it is already working with Briggs Automotive Company to develop the first “climate-positive car”.

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