We need carbon removal to balance out atmospheric CO2 levels and ultimately help reverse climate change.
Currently, atmospheric CO2 levels are at ~405–410 parts per million (ppm). Levels above 450 ppm risk negative runaway feedback loops—including more warming—that will be difficult to stop.
CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere by ecological and/or industrial means. It can be sequestered in trees, kelp, soil, minerals, and even manufactured products like plastics and timber.
Our new currency is backed by carbon removal. Every token is worth 1 ton of CO2 removal and will finance a new economy of restoration.
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There are many ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They fall into three main categories: ecological, industrial, and hybrid.
Ecological carbon removal can be achieved through better management and restoration of ecosystems on land and in the ocean.
Industrial carbon removal refers to engineered solutions that do not depend on ecological processes.
Hybrid carbon removal solutions combine ecological and industrial processes.
Carbon removal refers to any ecological or industrial approach that can take carbon dioxide out of atmospheric or oceanic circulation beyond what would have occurred without humans. Right now, carbon removal approaches have different costs, degrees of maturity, measurement needs, permanence, energy consumption/production, and additional uncertainties. But they are all the same in their growing potential as ways to capture and store carbon dioxide in order to help reverse climate change.
Since the industrial revolution, mankind has burned fossil fuels to produce energy which release greenhouse gases. In spite of long understanding the clear linkage between excess greenhouse gases (predominantly carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere and oceans and global climate change, humans have been unable to stop emitting. While reducing and replacing carbon emissions are key components to slowing down the flow of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years—warming the planet—the only way to stop the most severe effects of climate change is by balancing the total stock of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This can only be achieved through carbon removal.
The blockchain allows for a number of new opportunities to establish a market for carbon removal. Blockchain technologies allow us to issue a token, a Noriton (TON), which sets one uniform price on removing carbon dioxide. Because a carbon removal credit can only be used once, and is immediately retired, our blockchain system avoids double counting, which occurs in the design of all other traditional carbon offset schemes. Furthermore, using a blockchain solution allows for complete transparency to the new type of carbon removal asset. Blockchain allows for substantially lower verification costs through automation and removing the many middle men involved in traditional carbon removal transactions. Lastly, through using a blockchain token as a medium of exchange, this solution removes the requirement for project sellers and buyers to find a counterparty, allowing all parties to participate in a fungible market.
1 Noriton token allows for the purchase of a carbon removal credit (CRC). Think of it like a gift card that allows you to pay for carbon removal. The Noriton can be purchased at any time and when it is spent in the Nori platform will immediately transfer ownership of a carbon removal credit to the buyer.
While anyone can purchase a Carbon Removal credit with a Noriton, we’ve identified a few important categories:
Whenever a seller performs a carbon removal action, we first verify that the carbon dioxide has actually been removed from the atmosphere and stored. The seller either uploads data manually, or the removal data is automatically reported into the Nori platform. This generates the creation of a new Carbon Removal Credit smart contract that is now available for purchase by a buyer.
Ross and Christophe are joined by Dr. Klaus Lackner, the director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) and professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering. The CNCE is known for advancing carbon management technologies to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air in an outdoor operating environment. Today Klaus explains how he conceived of the windmill-sized structures that could scrub CO2 from the air and how these towers prove to be a more efficient solution than planting trees.
Today Ross and Christophe are speaking with corporate environmental attorney and blockchain enthusiast Mike Denby of Arizona Public Service, the largest power company in Arizona. APS is a vertically-integrated utility, both generating and selling power to its customers. They discuss how blockchain technology might be utilized in the energy sector and how the conservative business culture of the utility industry is likely to impact its interest in cryptocurrency.
In a world where ideology informs decision-making and policy-makers have little understanding of what is plausible when it comes to negative emissions technology, challenging doesn’t even begin to describe the task of reversing climate change. In this top-down approach, a small number of academics, activists and politicians are making the decisions for 7.5 billion people—and spending a lot of time arguing hypotheticals rather than taking action.
Paul Gambill is an entrepreneur and product manager living in Seattle, WA, USA. He is a co-founder of Nori. In 2015, Paul established the first community dedicated to carbon removal called Carbon Removal Seattle. He has 6 years of experience in managing mobile and web application projects for clients, and has shipped well over a dozen different apps to the public.
Christophe Jospe is an analyst, story-teller, marketer, and fundraiser for any solution that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. He started his first company, Carbon A List in 2016 as a consultancy to provide investor research, carbon offsets, and fundraising support. Prior to that, he was chief strategist for the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University.
Paul Carduner has been writing software since the age of 14. After deciding to "take a break" from college, Paul moved to Silicon Valley where he helped get two startups off the ground. After selling his second startup to Facebook, Paul spent 5 years building Facebook's photo and video teams. Recently, Paul has taken an interest in software for social good, working with code.org to improve access to computer science education. He is thrilled at the opportunity to improve climate change through software.
Aldyen Donnelly has been a small business developer and consultant for over 40 years. In the mid-1990s, Aldyen started to work on market-driven strategies to reduce atmospheric carbon concentrations. Having gathered together an "emission reduction credit" or "ERC" buyers group, Aldyen developed and executed the world's first major forward ERC purchase agreement to finance carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, as well as the first ERC sales-financed carbon capture and storage project.
Coming from a background focusing on peer to peer and distributed technical architectures, Jaycen Horton has worked as a Lead Software Engineer for Dell, ASU Decision Theater, and MapStory. Additionally, he worked as an Information Security Engineer for companies including Wells Fargo and other smaller start-up companies. While in college, he developed a sustainability-oriented IOT device for agricultural communities.
Alexsandra is a clean energy and sustainability crusader with a career in the energy and tech space. After studying Environmental Engineering at Columbia, she left NYC for sunny Southern California where she earned an M.S. and then spent three years at Southern California Edison (SCE) as a renewable energy integration engineer. While at SCE, she worked on data driven projects focused on increasing distributed energy resources and grid modernization. Alexsandra believes that the environment-technology nexus should be used to not only better the lives of humanity, but also to the benefit and protection of the environments surrounding us.
Ross Kenyon is a blockchain professional with a background in academia, filmmaking, and business development. He has worked with Tezos, Sweetbridge, ZenCash, Indiegogo, and Blue Frontiers.
Bob Beth is a life long tech startup guy and integrative visionary as well as an adventurer and South Pacific sailor. His pioneering involvement with software began in 1974 and he has led the invention of several software products in advanced computing environments. Bob received his degree in Economics from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on market formation.
Several of his advanced computing customers have been change makers in the financial markets, including at the outset of program trading and derivatives.
Through his involvement with the World Business Academy, an early climate change think tank and action incubator, Bob acts as a Special Advisor to the Academy’s bold Clean Energy Moonshot for California. He collaborates globally with thought leaders exploring backing cryptocurrencies with improvements in our planet’s natural capital. Bob is currently the co-founder of the Impact Procurement Network.
David Addison works for the Virgin Group where he manages the Virgin Earth Challenge: Sir Richard Branson’s USD $25 million innovation prize for scalable and sustainable ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and permanently sequestering them.
He is also an advisor to the Center for Carbon Removal; part of the community of advisors to Project Drawdown; a member of the jury of the German Energy Agency’s Startup Energy Transition Award; served as a member of the review panel for the UK Government’s £8.3 million Greenhouse Gas Removal research initiative; and was formerly Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Student Energy: a global charity inspiring the next generation of leaders to unlock a sustainable energy future.
David has a BSc in Geography from the University of Sussex, and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.
Dr. Klaus Lackner is the director of Center for Negative Carbon Emissions and professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University. Trained as a theoretical physicist, Lackner's work has spanned modular energy systems, automation, direct air capture, carbon sequestration, numerical algorithms and innovative carbon financing. Notably, he is a founder and inventor of the world's first commercially demonstrated direct air capture units. He has held senior positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Columbia University, where he was director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy.