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Climate change is recognized globally as both a crisis and an opportunity requiring transformational change to attain sustainable societies and economies. Urgent action at a global scale is crucially important to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement (i.e. UN global climate accord) and avoid irreversible ecosystem damage at a planetary scale. Concerted action is often fraught with mistrust and lack of transparency among the scope of actors (countries, subnational governments, companies, individuals) due to uncertainty of distributed responsibilities and clashing incentives at the short-term level. Whilst the Paris Agreement is a globally encompassing framework to prevent warming above 1.5oC (relative to pre-industrial levels), it still lacks a clear mechanism enabling actors to ‘speak the same language’ when recording climate-relevant data and verified actions. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and other emerging digital solutions have the potential to provide trusted record-keeping processes, data consensus and rules automation — crucially needed components in order to align actors, accelerate mitigation and adaptation action, and mobilize the trillions of dollars of finance required annually.
Hyperledger’s ecosystem and DLTs are central to the creation of a global and open climate accounting system that helps integrate all actors and actions under the same planetary goal. The Hyperledger frameworks and the Linux Foundation’s know-how and team supporting them are essential for the development and function of an open source and decentralized climate accountability network that both operationalizes transparency (i.e. Article 13 of the Paris Accord) whilst enhancing actor’s personal privacy, security, and control.
The Climate Action & Accounting (CA2) Special Interest Group (SIG) will foster and engage a multi-stakeholder network to exchange ideas, needs, and resources in order to develop and consolidate open source DLT solutions for a common climate accounting mechanism and frameworks.
Climate action is a broadly encompassing term that involves all climate-relevant actions (e.g. policies, programs, technologies, goods, services…) taken by actors (e.g. states and non-state actors such as businesses, cities, individuals…) — from emission generating activities, to the broad set of actions encompassed within climate mitigation and adaptation and its associated finance mechanisms.
Climate accounting, on the other hands, is referred to here as the encompassing term that involves all processes of recording climate-relevant information/data; from the physical state of the planet to the list of all climate actors, their broad set of climate actions and agreements in respect to the shared account of the climate challenge. Whilst climate action occurs in the real world, climate accounting is (or should be) recorded in the digital world. This SIG will help build the relationship between both and consolidate technological tools to do so.
1.1. Mission & Goals
Foster a collaborative network of climate, DLT, and other emerging technology organizations (i.e. universities, NGOs, government, startups, corporations, multilateral development banks, etc.) that can create a center of gravity around the role of DLT and open source software to address challenges in the global climate action, policy and digital accounting space. A focus point of the SIG would be to turn this network into action under a common open source project that defines shared protocols, standards, and platform tools for a globally integrated climate accounting system to be operationalized. This open climate project can act as a shared initiative where participants can contribute value to and share explorations in the use of DLT alongside other emerging technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), big data, and machine learning to address the challenge of keeping a transparent climate accounting system towards the climate targets set in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The community will take initiative to specifically address:
- Compilation of completed, ongoing, and proposed future activities related to blockchain for climate action & accounting
- Directory of organizations and initiatives involved with blockchain and the climate space (map of organization location, contact person, description, website, etc.)
- Consolidate the architecture of an integrated system, involving multiple blockchain mechanisms connected through shared protocols, allowing contractual automation in the link between finance and climate value flow based on the agreed physical parameter of the Earth system
- Identify Hyperledger tools and frameworks to develop and maintain a single record-keeping ledger with global consensus (i.e. a ‘ledger of ledger’ where all parties agree)
- Propose and define shared protocols and standards to allow interoperability across the climate accounting system and integrated platforms
- Compilation of best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations to stakeholders (policymakers, technology developers, etc.)
- Supporting events (e.g. at blockchain and climate conferences such as COP) and related activities for collaboration among members and stakeholders
- Propose, discuss and define a longer-term strategic vision of an open innovation consortium that can help steward, fund, and maintain an open source climate action and accounting project and system
Global climate accounting occurs in a diverse set of digital tools and registry platforms that are individually centralized and collectively dispersed and unlinked. This is often due to the great diversity and proliferation of climate actions and climate accounting as well as the lack of trust between actors, resisting to share data that exposes them to scrutiny. Hence, a common framework and toolsets to seamlessly integrate climate action & accounting is a crucial component for a successful Paris Agreement and SDG13 (Climate Action), as well as emerging initiatives such as the FSB TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures). Leveraging blockchain by the participating network (countries, companies, and individuals) will be the key technology in the pursuit of helping maintain a decentralized “ledger of ledgers” and common platform.
Engaging and connecting the wider Hyperledger community with the growing communities that have developed in the climate-blockchain intersections (e.g. Climate Chain Coalition, Climate Ledger Initiative, etc.) will help identify potential challenges and advance opportunities to support Hyperledger-related solutions towards an integrated climate action and accounting mechanism.
The common climate accounting platform proposes a radical collaborative economy that can encompass already existing platforms ranging from those managed by the United Nations (e.g. UNFCCC Global Climate Action) to country registries as well as emerging blockchain climate DApps (decentralized applications), which themselves often introduce peer-based collaborative economy practices. This comprises a social network of climate registries and services governed by an open innovation framework.
At a high level, Hyperledger’s DLTs are well-suited to provide general transparency alongside individual data privacy, prevention of double counting in the digital certification and trading of climate actions, and a platform for contractual automation of rules and mechanism with financial nature; ranging from Paris Agreement stocktaking to carbon pricing and rewards for mitigation outcomes.
In practice, the core climate action and accounting infrastructure will consider Hyperledger Sawtooth as a common broad-use ledger environment, Indy for DID implementation, Besu and Burrow for interoperability, and Fabric for contracts and applications. It will also encourage communication and collaboration with Hyperledger Grid, which already embarked on a domain-specific (supply chains) framework.
In summary, this SIG is relevant because…
This is a first-of-a-kind SIG, with a growing interest and global necessity for an open source and collectively-owned transparent climate accounting system. We are all planetary stakeholders needing to harness emerging technologies such as blockchain and a robust open source community management network such as Hyperledger in order to navigate a fragmented and trust-eroded climate space, turning it into a common slate of truth and involving all climate actors if we are to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The project is based on principles of radical inclusivity and equality at the planetary level. It is motivated by the belief that bottom-up civil action and collective intelligence are the most powerful innovations to address the climate challenge.
Our shared climate future — consistent with a more resilient Earth system — requires a higher level of participation, collaboration, and interoperability among climate stakeholders; from established government and private actors, to new climate action innovators and, ultimately, individual citizens. Digital technology tools that seamlessly integrate all elements in a transparent and participatory climate accounting system cannot be developed in a silo.
2. Special Interest Group Title
The name of this Special Interest Group shall be the Hyperledger Climate Action & Accounting Special Interest Group. Additional appropriate name references shall be:
- The Hyperledger Climate Action & Accounting Special Interest Group (external, formal)
- The Hyperledger Climate-SIG (external, informal)
- CA2-SIG (internal, informal)
3. Special Interest Group Scope
3.1. In Scope
The scope of the SIG is defined by the terms "climate action" and "climate accounting", defined in the introduction as encompassing and complementary concepts and illustrated below. The SIG can further be organized in working groups around 5 climate domains: Earth system state, World system registries, Climate action certification, Networked climate markets, Climate finance.
The HC-SIG may form subgroups or task forces to support, emphasize, or promote any of those items listed above or relevant climate issues.
3.2. Out Of Scope
Whilst this special interest group will consider the role of supply chains in climate accounting, these will be considered generally but not in-depth so as to not overlap with more supply chain specific groups at Hyperledger. Furthermore, this interest group involves all matters of climate change but does not encompass other aspects of sustainability (e.g. biodiversity, non-greenhouse gas pollutants, socio-economic inequalities, etc.).
4. Work Products
The initial work products may include:
- Compilation of activities related to blockchain for climate action and climate accounting
- Directory of organizations and initiatives involved with blockchain for climate actions
- Documentation relevant to the architecture of an integrated climate action and climate accounting system
- Open source code repositories utilizing Hyperledger frameworks like Sawtooth and Indy
- Convening of events like design sprint workshops and collaborative hackathons to further code and framework development
The CA2-SIG shall collaborate with the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), Hyperledger leadership, and respective project maintainers.
A list of Hyperledger frameworks, Special Interest Groups, and other organizations the CA2-SIG anticipates to work with includes:
- The Hyperledger Fabric Project
- The Hyperledger Indy Project
- The Hyperledger Sawtooth Project
- The Hyperledger Aries Project
- The Social Impact Special Interest Group
- The Hyperledger Grid Framework
- The Hyperledger Iroha Framework
The SIG is open to anyone using blockchain, open source software, and Hyperledger frameworks as an ongoing effort to create a climate accounting system. It will liaise with different groups working on the same domain space but using a different software stack, such as Ethereum, Cosmos, Stellar, Bitcoin, Multichain, etc. in order to work on interoperability challenges. Furthermore, it will seek to strengthen working relationships with major policy networks of city, region, and company actors including the World Bank, CDP (formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project), the UN system – especially the UNFCCC, INATBA (International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications). The SIG will leverage these connections to continue to build a strong community of support for the project.
Particularly, the CA2-SIG will coordinate directly with stakeholders interested in using digital solutions for climate action and accounting, including other climate and blockchain initiatives such as (but not limited to) the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), and the Climate Ledger Initiative.
About the Climate Chain Coalition:
The UN Climate Change Secretariat recognizes the potential of digital solutions for Climate Action, and in 2017 helped launch the Climate Chain Coalition (CCC) as an open global multi-stakeholder initiative to support collaboration among members and stakeholders. The initiative aims to advance the use of blockchain (distributed ledger technology) and related digital solutions (e.g. IoT, big data) to help mobilize climate finance and support climate policy, including enhancing MRV (measurement, reporting, and verification) to track and to scale up climate actions for mitigation and adaptation (e.g. technologies, projects, programs, markets), and to build trust among stakeholders. Demonstrating the global interest in blockchain for Climate Action, the CCC continues to grow at a rate of 2 new organizations per week and now has approximately 180 members across 45 countries.
CA2-SIG membership shall be free and open to members of the community who have an interest in issues as they relate to climate change and applicable digital technologies in general, and blockchain technologies in specific.
All CA2-SIG members shall have one vote. All membership votes shall be based on a simple majority, unless otherwise noted.
The CA2-SIG shall follow the direction of Hyperledger leadership for the voting process.
In the event of a tied vote, a ranking CA2-SIG officer shall be granted a tie-breaking vote.
Governance of the CA2-SIG shall be managed through its membership in accordance with the guidelines and overriding jurisdiction of Hyperledger leadership.
Day-to-day management of the CA2-SIG shall be conducted by an elected officer(s). Any actions taken on this basis and having direct effect on CA2-SIG membership shall be reported to membership in a timely manner through established channels of communications.
CA2-SIG leadership shall be comprised of the following office role(s):
If more than one office role is available, an CA2-SIG officer shall not hold more than one office role at any given time.
For consideration of an office of CA2-SIG, an CA2-SIG officer-in-consideration must be:
- An CA2-SIG member in good standing
- An active contributor within the CA2-SIG community
- Representative of the broader climate technologies community
The CA2-SIG Chair shall be elected by membership into position through a simple majority vote, and with Hyperledger leadership approval.
When there are two or more candidates, officer election shall be determined through a plurality vote, and with Hyperledger leadership approval.
An CA2-SIG officer shall serve for a period of one year, with an effective start date of January 1, and an effective end date of December 31 (inclusive).
At such time a member is to be considered for the role of an CA2-SIG officer, or a sitting CA2-SIG officer is to be reconsidered for that role, an election process (as identified in the Election section) shall be commenced not less than four weeks in advance of the end of the current CA2-SIG term.
An CA2-SIG officer may be elected into office for unlimited consecutive terms.
A CA2-SIG officer is responsible for the following items:
- Initiating regular General Meetings open to all CA2-SIG membership
- Developing and distributing meeting agendas
- Scheduling meetings
- Facilitating meetings
- Ensuring that recordings/minutes are taken during meetings
- Capturing a list of meeting participants
- Ensuring that Special Interest Group Quarterly or Semester Updates are generated and presented to Hyperledger leadership in a timely manner
- Facilitating the group and helping ensure that the mission statement and goals are observed and met
- Serving as a proxy and ambassador for CA2-SIG membership (as appropriate)
- Enforcing adherence to the Hyperledger Code of Conduct
7.1.5. Abdication of Responsibilities
In the event where an CA2-SIG officer is no longer performing the responsibilities assigned to the role of the office (see the section entitled Responsibilities), termination proceedings as described in the section entitled Termination Proceedings shall be commenced.
7.1.6. Termination Proceedings
At any time over the course of an CA2-SIG officer’s tenure, CA2-SIG member(s) shall have the right to challenge the adherence of an CA2-SIG officer to their designated role responsibilities as identified in the section entitled Responsibilities.
Such a challenge shall be made with objectivity and absolute respect for the office role, and the person currently serving in that role.
Upon the determination that an CA2-SIG officer is no longer performing the responsibilities assigned to the role of the office, CA2-SIG member(s) shall perform the following actions:
- Notify the CA2-SIG officer in question, in writing, of all abdication(s) of responsibilities
- If the CA2-SIG officer in question does not acknowledge, in writing and within five (5) days, the initial notice, CA2-SIG member(s) initiating the notification shall contact, in writing, Hyperledger Leadership
- Hyperledger Leadership shall immediately (as practicable) attempt to contact, in writing, the CA2-SIG officer in question
- If the CA2-SIG officer in question does not acknowledge, in writing and within five (5) days, at the request of Hyperledger Leadership, CA2-SIG member(s) initiating the notification shall begin termination
CA2-SIG membership may—by a vote of CA2-SIG membership, and with Hyperledger leadership approval—terminate the leadership of an CA2-SIG officer, provided that the officer shall have had the right to be heard by CA2-SIG membership and Hyperledger leadership before any final decision is made, as defined in the section entitled Process.
8. Process of the Special Interest Group
Meetings shall be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (as determined by the ranking CA2-SIG officer) via teleconference. When appropriate, a subgroup, or task force shall be created and have separate working sessions to discuss specific work items.
Meeting details, meeting notes, and documentation shall be made publicly available. The following items shall be generated and made available to the community:
- Mailing list
- Rocket.Chat channel
- Meeting recordings
- Github repositories (optional)
- Jira (optional)
Meetings shall be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (as determined by the ranking CA2-SIG officer) via teleconference.
The ranking CA2-SIG officer shall send out an agenda through both the mailing list and chat channels to ensure that attendees know what will be discussed in advance of every meeting.
Recordings/minutes for each meeting should be kept and made accessible to CA2-SIG membership.
9.4. Cancelling a Meeting
Meeting cancellations shall be made at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting date.
All CA2-SIG membership meetings are placed on the Hyperledger Community Calendar. To ensure that a cancelled meeting is removed from the calendar, the person leading the meeting shall send a meeting cancellation request to email@example.com.
Additionally, a meeting cancellation notification shall be made to CA2-SIG membership through both the mailing list and chat channels.
Should the scope of the CA2-SIG reach completion, or conversely, the traffic on the various discussion forums, and/or the teleconference activity drop to very low levels, then the ranking CA2-SIG officer may ask Hyperledger leadership to disband the Special Interest Group.
Subgroups serve to direct membership efforts toward key areas of mutual or themed interest within the larger CA2-SIG general membership.
Like the parent CA2-SIG, subgroups are obligated to serve as a mechanism for productive and demonstrable work products under the guidance of a lead, who is responsible for transparently communicating subgroup status back to CA2-SIG leadership.
Any member(s) in good standing of the CA2-SIG may recommend to CA2-SIG leadership the desire to form a subgroup with the intent to serve a specific need or set of needs not already served through the parent CA2-SIG or any existing CA2-SIG subgroup.
Upon approval, that member(s) must identify a subgroup lead, and work with CA2-SIG leadership to develop a subgroup charter.
11.2. Subgroup Charter
An CA2-SIG subgroup charter shall follow the same charter and organizational structure as presented in this document for the parent CA2-SIG, with the addition or supersession of the sections below:
11.2.1. Mission Statement
An CA2-SIG subgroup shall develop a mission statement that clarifies the purpose and primary goals of the subgroup. While the expectation of a subgroup is to coalesce the specific interests of a subset of CA2-SIG membership into a working body, all CA2-SIG subgroups should be complementary to the mission statement of the parent Special Interest Group.
An CA2-SIG subgroup shall develop a set of specific goals in support of its mission statement, as defined above.
11.2.3. Work Products
An CA2-SIG subgroup shall list the work products that the subgroup expects to initially focus on, such as white papers, use cases, case studies, or a face to face event. Ideally these are measurable work products that help the CA2-SIG assess whether the subgroup is making progress.
Governance of an CA2-SIG subgroup shall be managed through its membership in accordance with the guidelines and overriding jurisdiction of the parent CA2-SIG.
Day-to-day management of the CA2-SIG subgroup shall be conducted by the selected subgroup lead. Any actions taken on this basis and having direct effect on CA2-SIG subgroup membership shall be reported to subgroup membership in a timely manner through well-defined channels of communications.
CA2-SIG subgroup leadership shall be comprised of the following office role:
11.2.5. Process of the Subgroup
Meetings shall be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (as determined by the CA2-SIG subgroup lead) via teleconference. When appropriate, a task force shall be created and have separate working sessions to discuss specific work items of the subgroup.
Meetings shall be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (as determined by the CA2-SIG subgroup lead) via teleconference.
The CA2-SIG subgroup lead shall send out an agenda through both the mailing list and chat channels to ensure that attendees know what will be discussed in advance of every meeting.
Should the scope of an CA2-SIG subgroup reach completion, or conversely, the traffic on the various discussion forums, and/or the teleconference activity drop to very low levels, then the CA2-SIG lead of the subgroup may ask the ranking CA2-SIG officer to disband the subgroup.
12. Amendments to This Charter
This charter may be altered by a consensus resolution passed at a meeting of CA2-SIG members. All changes made to this charter shall receive final approval from Hyperledger leadership.