Blockchain Climate Action Tracking (B-CAT)


This project aims to research how distributed ledger technologies like blockchain could improve upon existing data storage, progress tracking, and governance of non-state actors’ climate pledges and progress to inform future research and policy.


Over its three-year time frame, the project seeks to answer four main questions: 

1) Who are the primary actors, verifiers, and users that will participate in the B-CAT ecosystem and what requirements might they have for engagement? 

2) How can next-generation technology, such as distributed ledger technology (e.g., blockchain) and the Internet of Things, be applied to automate incentive schemes and protocols that can address identified data and knowledge gaps in non-state climate action? 

3) What are the potential impacts and challenges in the science of tracking climate action with this new blockchain framework? 

4) Where can blockchain tools provide significant value in climate use-cases, and what issues and architectural considerations would need to be addressed for these to be applied effectively and at scale? What are both the explicit limitations and positive implications of emerging technology?

Partners: OpenEarth Foundation, Climate Action Data 2.0 Community, Yale Institute for Network Science / School of Electrical Engineering, Hyperledger

Funders: National Science Foundation Award (No. 1932220) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York (No. G-21-58463)

DDL contacts: Marco Schletz, Angel Hsu, PhD

This project aims to research how distributed ledger technologies like blockchain can develop  a trusted and decentralized data management and accounting scheme for non-state action pledges. Using an interdisciplinary approach that  leverages insights from academic researchers, industry partners, non-state and subnational climate action practitioners, and policymakers, it  innovates a framework and architecture for Blockchain Climate Action Tracking (B-CAT). This framework, developed in both theory and tested in proof-of-concept prototypes, will be used to define if and where blockchain and complementary technologies (e.g., internet-of-things) can improve upon existing efforts tracking climate policy.