Blockchain accelerates trading of emission certificates

Everyone is talking about climate protection in 2020. Both states and representatives of the private sector increasingly feel obliged to counteract the advancing climate change. New technologies also play a decisive role in these efforts. A project from Spain proves that blockchain can also be applied here. The energy arm of the large Acciona group has entered into a cooperation with the block chain start-up Climate Blockchain Initiatives (CBI). The aim of the cooperation between the Spanish companies is to promote CBI’s ClimateTrade platform. The block-chain-based platform promises to simplify and accelerate trading in emission certificates.

Emissions trading provides companies with an instrument to offset their emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. This is done by purchasing C02 certificates from climate-friendly projects that in turn avoid the emission of C02. Such projects could be wind turbines or hydroelectric power plants. There is, of course, an economic calculation behind the system. Because emissions trading makes it possible to reduce C02 emissions in those places where it makes the most economic sense.

The certificate trading system is based on the agreements of the Kyoto Protocol. However, this form of trading in certificates has been comparatively slow up to now. According to Acciona’s press release, this type of certificate trading usually takes two months. The Spanish conglomerate and the Climate Blockchain Initiatives, however, state that their platform can reduce this period to 48 hours.

Blockchain platform promises “complete traceability, security and transparency

The ClimateTrade platform connects companies that want to buy certificates with those that offer them. The entire transaction process should be significantly faster. According to the cooperation partners, the block chain technology allows such acceleration while at the same time complying with the internationally required security standards.

Although the press release does not go into detail at this point, it seems obvious that the block chain can guarantee in particular the authenticity and uniqueness of the traded certificates. After all, in ordinary emissions trading, it is important to ensure that the certificates are actually traded only once and then withdrawn from circulation. Up to now, this verification has been the responsibility of globally operating databases.


Acciona provides emission certificates

While Climate Blockchain Initiatives develops the platform itself, Acciona supports the project by providing emission certificates. The certificates come from renewable energy projects Acciona operates in Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica. In accordance with international regulations, these projects should not only be climate-friendly, but also meet certain minimum standards of social compatibility. Santiago Gómez Ramos, Head of Energy Management at Acciona, commented on the cooperation as follows:

“ClimateTrade will greatly facilitate trading transactions between producers and buyers of emission allowances and will provide Acciona with a very interesting business and innovative perspective in the transition to a decarbonized economy, complementing our core activity of supplying renewable energy.”


Meanwhile, Acciona says it has already been able to realize further block-chain projects in the energy sector. These include block-chain-based renewable energy tracking.