The environmental impacts and sustainability are probably the primary criticisms directed toward blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Although the recent projects have brought in several sustainable solutions, legacy chains like Bitcoin and Ethereum still lead the list for the highest amount of carbon emissions. Moreover, even the recent networks have achieved only carbon neutrality, and sustainability still looks like a long shot for many. But things now seem to take a turn as Polygon becomes the first network to take up this issue through the recent Green Manifesto it shared with the community.
In a blog post shared on April 12, the network announced its plans to go carbon-free in the coming years. The team formed for this cause would evaluate the carbon debts of the ecosystem and help pave the path for a sustainable future for Polygon. This climate-friendly approach is embraced to help the network attain negative carbon status by 2022. The positive vision of Polygon also comes with $20 million in funding for community activities and innovative technologies that would push the ecosystem towards this new goal.
The first step towards this end comes with a $400,000 BCT and MCO2 carbon credits purchase. Reportedly, this is equivalent to 90,000 tons of carbon emissions. Users can buy carbon credits through the carbon market of KlimaDAO, a decentralized climate project run by a group of environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and developers. These tokens are approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance and adhere to the Verified Carbon Standard. Polygon plans to retire these coins using a decentralized aggregator app.
KilmaDAO is also tasked with surveying energy consumption and CO2 emissions on Polygon and formulating a working strategy for mitigating their impacts. Node infrastructures, staking activities, and connectivity with the Ethereum mainnet will be considered while formulating the strategies. Polygon has also requested a review from the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute to better evaluate the situation and find solutions. According to Co-Founder Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon has gilt-edged infrastructures for a sustainable ecosystem. He, however, believes that it is not good enough considering what is at stake. With the hope of forming a united front to bring in new technologies, strategies, and solutions for sustainability, Polygon has commissioned this initiative.
This initiative from Polygon comes right when Ethereum is about to change to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Experts confirm that the blockchain’s carbon footprints would be down by 99%. So, this Green Manifesto could be Polygon’s strategy to evade Ethereum’s dominance in the future by becoming a carbon-negative ecosystem. Before Polygon, Hedera and VeChain have also initiated their initiatives to help projects with carbon emission management. With everything being said, it becomes clear that this nascent industry values sensibilities of the current generation towards the environment.