Towards Ontology and Blockchain Based Measurement, Reporting, and Verification For Climate Action

20 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2020

See all articles by Henry M. Kim

Henry M. Kim

York University - Schulich School of Business

Tom Baumann

ClimateCHECK; GHG Management Institute

Marek Laskowski

York University; University of Guelph

Date Written: October 23, 2020

Abstract

Efforts like carbon credits that incentivize GHG emissions reduction are hampered by an inability to account for quantity and impact of emissions in transparent and uniform ways. Authoritative entities like the UN have espoused blockchain’s potential to address transparency and novel Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems for climate action constitute the state-of-the-art in research and industry to use blockchain to address the transparency need. However, impact of such efforts are diluted if there is not sufficient uniformity: Different blockchains idiosyncratically quantifying carbon credits and reporting them based on standards not widely adopted may offer only some improvement over the status quo. In this paper, we specify a top-level architecture that uses Semantic Web ontologies to complement a blockchain-based MRV system to address the need for uniformity and sharability. We pose this within the context of the real-life Reciclo Orgánicos project, an international collaboration to reduce GHG emissions from Chile’s municipal waste sector. Our design conceptualizes transforming “smart standards” that are efficiently designed and harmonized using IT into ontologies of quantification methodologies and verification standards, which in turn can be used develop smart contracts executable on, and interoperable between, different blockchain platforms. Though preliminary, our design makes a potentially important contribution towards a Digital MRV system that effects impactful climate action.

Keywords: Blockchain, Ontologies, MRV, Smart Standards, Climate Action, Blockchain Interoperability, Smart Contracts, Carbon Accounting

Suggested Citation

Kim, Henry M. and Baumann, Tom and Laskowski, Marek, Towards Ontology and Blockchain Based Measurement, Reporting, and Verification For Climate Action (October 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3717389 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3717389

Henry M. Kim (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Tom Baumann

ClimateCHECK ( email )

11 Pineland Avenue
Ottawa, ONtario K2G0E5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.climate-check.com

GHG Management Institute ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ghgmi.org

Marek Laskowski

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

University of Guelph ( email )

Guelph, Ontario
Canada

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