Climate Change 101
For over a century, humanity has been emitting greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere at increasing rates. In normal quantities, these gases keep Earth habitable by retaining the sun's energy—like a greenhouse—but today we're retaining too much, and our planet is growing hotter.
As a result, the dynamics that support life on Earth are beginning to fail. This is leading to famines and mass migrations, increasingly extreme storms, fires and floods, and has already caused mass extinctions.
And there is no Planet B.
The Emissions Gap
In 2015, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that we must limit earth's temperature rise to 2°C to avoid global catastrophe.
Months later, in the Paris Agreement, 195 countries pledged to permanently reduce their emissions by 2030 and limit warming to 1.5°C. However, even if these pledges are met, there is still an emissions gap—equal to cutting power to every home in the US, enforcing a world-wide driving ban and eliminating global food waste…for an entire year.
The reality is that we live in a world with a finite ‘budget’ for carbon emissions. And time is running out.
Putting a Price on Climate Change
Poseidon's work is at the heart of the global movement to address climate change. Our purpose is to aid the transformation to a 'green' economy by using our 360-degree solution to bridge the emissions gap. We do this by quantifying the environmental and social causes of climate change, and supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide critical support to the communities who look after the most delicate ecosystems on our planet.
To support these projects, we provide them funding by buying their 'carbon credits'. The basic calculation is as follows: for each metric ton of CO2 emissions averted, one 'carbon credit' is created.
Pricing CO2 emissions and the environmental and social costs of products through carbon credits has the potential to close the emissions gap and meet the 2°C limit, but carbon credits have not seen widespread adoption due to traceability issues and their inability to be traded in small quantities more suitable to everyday life.
But that is about to change.
Connecting carbon to life
Today, using AI and blockchain, Poseidon can quickly analyze the carbon footprint of any product or service, and then process carbon credits in fractions small enough to rebalance the product or service at point of sale!
It works like this: when a product is created, the energy and resources used to make the materials that make the product, the energy and resources used to put those materials together to make the product, and the energy and resources used to deliver that product to market, all make up the products ‘carbon footprint.’ When we know that exact amount, we can purchase the equivalent amount of carbon credit. By doing so, we have effectively rebalanced the climate impact of the product, which helps us towards our goal of bridging the emissions gap. And by purchasing more carbon credits than necessary, we can even turn a product into a positive impact, or ‘climate action.’
It is blockchain that allows us to bring this process to real-world and digital checkouts by integrating with retail point of sale systems, and it is also blockchain that allows every detail of every carbon credit and its purchase to be publicly available and immutably stored. The end result is a technology that empowers everyone, for the first time in history, to precisely address the environmental cost of any transaction.
It is extremely powerful. And we named it reduce.
reduce in a Retail Setting
When a retailer integrates reduce with its point of sale system, it is beginning a series of steps that will have wide-ranging positive impact for our planet:
1) The retailer, along with Poseidon, begins calculating the carbon footprint of its products. This illuminates the retailer's supply chain, revealing which suppliers are most supportive of the retailer's new sustainability focus.
2) The retailer selects which products will be automatically rebalanced by reduce at checkout, effectively incorporating its customers into positive climate action.
Then, when the upcoming reduce mobile app is released, any customer who downloads the app and visits a participating retailer will experience the power of reduce for themselves:
1) Upon checkout, the retailer's point of sale system will communicate with reduce regarding the purchase, confirming that the negative impact of the product has been rebalanced.
2) The customer will receive a push notification regarding updates to her reduce account, which details her growing positive impact.
3) The customer will be able to click through, see details of the project she supported, and share these details with her friends.
The future of reduce
Poseidon is currently supporting sustainable development projects that focus on forest conservation, reforestation and sustainable agriculture. While these projects also all have excellent social and environmental impact—our Cordillera Azul project in Peru, for example, supports 13 of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals—we know that there are opportunities to take reduce beyond our forests.BLUE CARBON
In the very near future, reduce will expand to offer Blue carbon credits. Blue carbon will give our users the opportunity to become involved in ocean-based carbon, which accounts for 80% of the carbon sequestered on our planet. We'll be dealing specifically with the 50% of Blue carbon held in mangroves and sea grass.
As we continue to broaden our impact in areas related directly to greenhouse gas emissions, Poseidon will also expand reduce's function to encompass a 360-degree approach to addressing all the environmental and social impacts of human life, including challenges surrounding fresh water, plastics, energy and other limited resources.
If you would like to join in our journey, you can start by signing up for our newsletter.
It's our planet to lose—or to save.