Ganesh Harinath Column: Web 3.0 can be a transformative tool in mitigating climate change

Ganesh Harinath, Founder and CEO, Fiducia | AI, Inc

By Ganesh Harinath–

(Ganesh Harinath is the Founder and CEO of Fiducia | AI, Inc., a 20-year veteran of information technology and AI. Ganesh was earlier VP and CTO at Verizon and Verizon Media. The views in this column are his own)

Climate change, denoted by the prolonged transformation of temperature and standard weather patterns, is rapidly making global weather unpredictable. This significant change, induced chiefly by human endeavor like fossil fuel combustion, releases greenhouse gasses that intensify global warming. As a result, the world confronts challenges from rising sea levels, extreme weather events, diminished agricultural outputs, to declining biodiversity.

Consider these critical climate change repercussions:

● Rising sea levels inundate coastal regions.
● Extreme weather, such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves, wreaks havoc.
● Unpredictable agricultural yields threaten food security.
● Reduced biodiversity undermines ecosystems

Enter Web 3.0

A transformative phase in the digital realm that melds cutting-edge technologies, Web 3.0 promises to redefine our online interactions and the underlying framework of the internet itself.

Blockchain technology is at this movement’s heart, providing a decentralized approach and unparalleled transparency in digital transactions. Coupled with robust cryptography, blockchain guarantees unmatched security and information validation.

Additionally, with the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we observe the emergence of intelligent, adaptive digital solutions. Meanwhile, the fusion of 3D graphics with volumetric experiences, augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) heralds a new age of immersive digital experiences.

Web 3.0 could be pivotal in addressing climate change.

Blockchain’s Potential

Decentralized Energy Systems: Blockchain, by design, supports decentralized energy trading. The Power Ledger platform exemplifies this, facilitating individuals and communities to trade renewable energy credits.

Decentralized Carbon Markets: Blockchain can enable decentralized carbon credit trading platforms like Climatetrade. Such platforms could play a crucial role in reducing atmospheric carbon.

Transparent Supply Chains: Blockchain-driven platforms, such as Provenance, give consumers insights into the environmental impacts of their purchases, nudging them towards sustainable choices.

Climate-centric Financial Solutions: Digital assets, like the Terra stablecoin, present new vistas for carbon trading and green investments.

The role of AI

Predictive Analysis: Advanced AI models can provide forecasts on climate change outcomes. Such predictions are invaluable for formulating mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Energy Systems: AI can revolutionize energy consumption patterns. The creation of AI-driven smart grids, for instance, can auto-adjust based on demand fluctuations.

Innovation: AI is crucial in pioneering sustainable solutions. From developing highly efficient solar panels to wind turbines, AI can be the game-changer.

Process Optimization: AI can streamline industrial processes. For instance, AI algorithms are now being used to devise environmentally efficient production methods for materials like cement.

3D, AR, and Volumetric Technologies

Reduced Transportation: Virtual showrooms, powered by AR and VR, can reduce the need for physical travel, subsequently reducing transportation-related emissions.

Virtual Experiences: Technologies like volumetric videos offer virtual try-ons, minimizing returns and associated wastage. Proto is at the forefront of enabling volumetric experiences.

Sustainable Education: AR and VR experiences can educate and familiarize users about sustainable products and eco-friendly practices.

Highlighting Web 3.0’s significance, a University of Oxford study proposed that blockchain could reduce carbon emissions by an impressive 20%. The study accentuated the role of blockchain in fostering efficient energy markets, accurate carbon emission tracking, and supply chain transparency.

Further endorsing Web 3.0’s potential, a World Economic Forum report suggested that this technology could catalyze over $1 trillion in climate action investments. This estimation underscores the potential of Web 3.0 in fostering green bonds, carbon offsets, and other sustainable financial tools.

Reflecting on my personal engagement in this arena, I proudly associate as a founding member with The Enterprise NeuroSystem (TENS). This consortium, bringing together academic and corporate forces, is passionate about utilizing AI for environmental protection.

Championed by Bill Wright and Jon Overton, TENS is in active collaboration with the United Nations Climate Technology Center and Network. Its overarching vision is the harmony between technological progression and environmental conservation Link to TENS’s recent involvement at the United Nations Center COP27 in Washington .

Another noteworthy initiative is Fiducia | AI. With its core focus on aligning sustainability with brand values, Fiducia | AI amalgamates blockchain, generative AI, and AR to connect consumers and brands around sustainability ideals. Through AR interactions, it offers consumers not just an enhanced retail experience but also an insight into the pressing reality of climate change.

Web 3.0 is not merely a technological upgrade. It’s a beacon of hope, encapsulating the immense potential to harness its innovations for an eco-resilient future. As the horizon of the digital world expands, the onus lies on technologists, environmentalists, and policymakers to collaborate, ensuring that the promise of a sustainable tomorrow is realized.

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