Save Planet the Right Way

Polkachu Team | 2023-03-01

We all want to mitigate climate change and save planet. The key question is how to do so effectively while still allowing people to opt out without demonizing their individual priorities.

The global effort to mitigate the climate change has settled on a market-based approach: carbon market. It allows individual actors to assess their own opportunity cost to decide whether it is more effective to buy carbon credit or change their behaviors. We applaud such market-based approach.

However, the current chain-by-chain parade of carbon offset proposals (Akash 31, Agoric 21, Gravity Bridge 108, Juno 83, Evmos 133) is taking one step back. We reject such proposals not because we disagree with the end goal, but because we disagree with the approach.

  1. It targets the wrong individual actor. A chain does not emit carbon; node operators do. We should mobilize individual node operators to participate in the global carbon market, instead of targeting chains just because it is more convenient.
  2. It denies individual agency. Many node operators are already taking climate change mitigation as their mission and effectively building a validator brand by attracting similar-minded delegators. We should work to amplify and reward such individual initiatives. On the other hand, if we seek carbon credit offset through on-chain proposals, it minimizes these individual initiatives.
  3. It is highly inefficient. When we have hundreds of chains in the Interchain, such proposals will one day show up annually on all these chains. The collective mental burden to process and vote on these proposals probably deserves its own carbon offset one day.

Overall, we believe that these carbon offset proposals are well-intentioned but ill-designed. Regen Network should work hard to mobilize node operators to participate in its carbon market, help them attract similar-minded delegators, and collaborate with foundations to include climate impact in their delegation programs. There are many ways to use market-based approaches to minimize our carbon footprint and maximize the impact of Regen's carbon market. However, chain-by-chain carbon offset proposals are not the way.

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