The Open Climate Accounting System is an open source initiative exploring the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and other emerging technologies, such as IoT (Internet of Things), big data and machine learning, to the challenge of helping the world keep a transparent climate accounting system towards the climate targets set in the 2015 Paris Agreement—i.e. maintaining anthropogenic warming below 1.5oC.
Global climate accounting - the process of recording climate actors and their actions in respect to the shared account of the planet’s climate state, occurs in diverse set of registry platforms that are individually centralized and collectively dispersed and unlinked. This is often due to lack of trust between actors, resisting to share data that exposes them to scrutiny.
This project involves a software ‘platform of platforms,’ distinguished here as the Open Climate Platform, the development of climate communication protocols, and a shared user interface as portal to the system. The Platform acts as a common integrator that can reconcile climate records and functions from both legacy and DLT-based climate platforms in the pursuit of helping maintain a decentralized ‘ledger of ledgers’. With climate actors and their associated records mapped in a shared network— ranging from countries, to companies to individuals— DLT and other cryptographic tools are primarily used to:
🔹 Provide general transparency alongside individual data privacy
🔹Prevent double counting in the digital certification and trading of climate actions
🔹Create contractual automation of rules and mechanisms with financial nature (from Paris Agreement stocktakes to carbon pricing and rewards for mitigation outcomes)
We present here the Open Climate Platform, an open source software enabling a decentralized and transparent global climate accounting system, operating as ‘platform of platform’ that acts as the system’s routing hub; integrating, via application programming interfaces (APIs), legacy climate data and accounting platforms with emerging blockchain based ones. Using decentralized ledger technology (DLT), the system proposes to harness a radically collaborative network to reconcile a climate ‘ledger of ledgers.’ The Open Climate platform includes a user interface as a portal to the system, providing access to the main functions climate actors need to account their climate action progress and participate in compliance, trading and financial schemes. Moreover, it uses the power of smart contracts to automate key articles in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, linking political actors and their commitments with the physical ecosystem state of the planet, and proposes a mechanism by which subnational and non-state actors can account their actions towards nationally determined contributions and participate in international markets of mitigation outcomes.
The Open Climate platform, portal and integration protocols are in an alpha prototype phase. Platform can be accessed at www.openclimate.earth and source code can be found at www.github.com/YaleOpenLab/openclimate.