Today's guest is Martin Wainstein, Founder and Executive Director of OpenEarth Foundation, a California-based nonprofit that creates and supports the deployment of open-source software at the intergovernmental level to further climate understanding and action.
When we think of blockchain, our brains are mostly wired to think of cryptocurrencies and for-profit schemes. OpenEarth Foundation, however, is applying blockchain principles to United Nations-scale carbon accounting efforts to aid in the understanding of and deployment of software that can support an open and accountable data layer for critical carbon accounting. As carbon offsets are retired, as renewable energy credits are traded, and as compliance and voluntary carbon markets grow in prominence, how do we ensure that these systems can understand each other across borders, governments, and methodologies?
After all, a ton of CO2 should be a ton of CO2, and yet orchestrating agreement and dialogue across major stakeholders including governments, markets, and corporations, is never an easy task. Martin and Cody have a great conversation about his journey into the climate space and the origins of OpenEarth Foundation, which was inspired in part by his time at Yale Open Lab and his work on digital currencies at MIT Media Lab. We also cover the state of carbon accounting at the nation-state level today, the innovative ways that OpenEarth Foundation has raised money to date, and some of the big ideas that they're thinking about for the future.
In this episode, we cover:
[3:01] Martin's climate journey
[9:38] An overview of the OpenEarth Foundation
[14:25] Leveraging technology for the common good
[17:32] Carbon accounting and where the data comes from today
[24:10] Openclimate.network and other digital tools
[29:48] Transparency challenges on the national and subnational levels
[34:25] How OpenEarth is helping large global entities with consensus building
[40:44] OpenEarth's initial funding via NFTs and plans moving forward
[49:38] Some of OpenEarth's current projects
[55:07] Where OpenEarth needs help
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Episode recorded on February 2, 2023.