New Cambridge Centre Aims to Create Decentralised Marketplace

Cambridge Starts Crypto Research Project With IMF & BIS
  • New Cambridge center to build a decentralized carbon credit market
  • The decentralized marketplace is built on the energy-efficient Tezos blockchain.
  • NbS projects, however, are chronically underfunded.

New Cambridge center to build a decentralized carbon credit market and support global reforestation will bring together computer scientists and conservation scientists.

In addition to offering support to students and researchers in computer science, environmental science, economics, and economics, the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits (4C) is also aiming to develop a decentralized marketplace where purchasers of carbon credits can fund trusted projects.

It is the Centre’s vision to support a sustainable future through technology, which is why the Centre is building its decentralized marketplace on the energy-efficient Tezos blockchain. Through market-based instruments, the marketplace seeks to accelerate the number of real nature-based conservation and restoration projects.

The role of nature-based solutions in mitigating climate change is vital, particularly in forests. The public and governments are increasingly calling for the implementation of nature-based solutions (NbS) capable of sequestering several gigatons of carbon each year and protecting biodiversity. NbS projects, however, are chronically underfunded.

Centre Director Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy said,

“Current accreditation systems that measure and report the value of carbon and related benefits like biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction rendered by NbS are costly, slow and inaccurate,”

Moreover, the NbS carbon credits have been undermined by these systems. Carbon credit purchasers must be able to fund nature-based projects directly and confidently through a decentralized market. It is the Centre’s goal to close this gap.

A scalable trusted NbS marketplace will be prototyped through support for 12 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence for Environment Risk will fund researchers from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, the Department of Zoology, and the Department of Plant Sciences.

Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute David Coomes said,

“Conservation strategies are increasingly broadening to include large datasets, remote sensing technologies, and computational approaches. The Centre for Carbon Credits is a ground-breaking initiative that will bring together computer scientists and conservation scientists in a new way.”

Professor Andrew Balmford of the Department of Zoology said: The new commitment to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030 at COP26 emphasizes the importance of forests in carbon capture and helping to keep our planet healthy. It is crucial that the new Centre supports research to develop new, trusted mechanisms for reforestation projects.

Prof. Ann Copestake, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Technology, emphasized the collaborative nature of the Centre: In recent years, we have been focusing more on the use of computer science techniques and technologies to address the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis. It is wonderful that we are combining the strengths of our research and the expertise of Cambridge’s environmental scientists. The results of this interdisciplinary collaboration should lay the groundwork for tangible solutions to some of the world’s environmental challenges.

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