I was among 35,000 estimated attendees this year at COP27, the annual global climate summit. Over 100 heads of state were there representing their governments, and much of the media attention has focused on their discussions, which drew overwhelming criticism from concerned people around the world.
The criticism was well-founded, as world leaders did not come to an agreement on lowering the use of fossil fuels. Wealthy nations did offer to pay developing countries for climate related damages, but similar promises have gone unfulfilled in the past, so these offers were met with skepticism. Unfortunately, this is what we have come to expect from governments, which is exactly why we are taking matters into our own hands to develop solutions for climate change.
There is much more to this event than politicking though, it is also a place where people concerned about the environment can meet in person to share ideas, network, and potentially embark on new endeavors. This was the aspect of COP27 that was most meaningful to me.
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was connecting with members of the Verra team. I was honored to be on a panel with Benoît Clément, the Financial Innovation Director at Verra.
The panel was a part of the Hedera ReFi Forum, and also included members of the Filecoin Foundation. These were not marketing pitches either, we heard very insightful thoughts on Scaling Validation & Verification.
The ReFi Forum event also allowed me to meet Hania Othman from Hedera, a layer one blockchain that is heavily focused on carbon markets and enterprise solutions.
ReFi, blockchain and Web3 had very little representation at COP27, but there were signs that ideas from our industry were starting to enter the conversation. Former Bank of England senior advisor and G20 co-chairman Michael Sheren made some very interesting comments on carbon tokenization, predicting that carbon is very close to becoming a currency.
You can view his comments below:
Another event worth mentioning is Bloomberg’s “Green,” which featured speakers from high ranking political positions or top companies like Google. There were also many speakers from well-recognized international organizations like the UN. The Prince Albert Ocean Innovation Event also had prestigious speakers from top organizations, but they focused specifically on ocean based climate action.
The presentations were great, but the one-on-one talks where I was able to connect with like-minded builders and thinkers in the industry was the most valuable part of the trip. If we connected and I haven’t followed up yet, please reach out and say hello!