Over the past few years, the effects of global warming have become increasingly obvious. From intense cases of drought to heatwaves, and rising sea levels, the negative effects of climate change have pushed several governments and corporate behemoths to make commitments to battle the crisis. However, despite the efforts, achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate target appears to be ‘slipping out of reach.’
Breaking down the level of emissions by sector, data shows that energy usage in the form of electricity, heat, and transportation is the largest contributor to global emissions. While energy use in industries accounted for 24.2% of global emissions as of 2016, the transport sector contributed 16.2%, with road transport being the largest culprit in the pack. In countries like the United States, the transportation sector is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for a whopping 29% as of 2019.
Using blockchain to tackle climate change
Blockchain technology has been touted for disruptive potential in a number of industries. Its immutable ledger provides a fully auditable history and unparalleled transparency. What started as a simple innovation in the financial sector has found use cases in a plethora of sectors, including logistics, entertainment, and even governance. Primarily, as censorship and distrust continue to rise, there will be a tilt in favor of transparent organizations, policies, and actions.
That being said, UNA is a blockchain project that is attempting to heal the world by using data to improve one of the biggest sectors responsible for global emissions on the planet. The blockchain project is a branch of HOPIUM, a hydrogen automotive company that is at the forefront of innovation in the hydrogen fuel cell and automotive engineering sectors. According to the project’s website:
“UNA embodies the next era of automotive and is poised to take a leadership position within the industry. With an emphasis on technology, ethics, and transparency, UNA is leveraging next-generation technologies to build a blockchain ecosystem capable of surpassing expectations.”
UNA’s value proposition bothers around four core areas – emissions, digital passport, security, and the supply chain. The project is attempting to link the physical and virtual worlds by exploring the benefits of assigning digital identities to vehicles and their associated drivers.
On emissions, UNA uses the blockchain to store data on a vehicle’s usage. Information on a vehicle’s emission levels can be easily verified, quantified, and associated with a driver. Meanwhile, individual preferences are uploaded to a blockchain ledger that allows drivers to seamlessly switch between vehicles without losing previous settings or preferences. The UNA team explains that with such mechanisms in place, “a test-drive will instantly feel like home, and driving a rental will no longer feel like a rental. Not only does this remove pain points from the user, but also enables the company to study aggregate user preferences and learn about consumer desires over time.”
Speaking of data security, which has grown to become such an important subject in recent times, UNA’s solution introduces the concept of authorized users. By using the blockchain to record ownership, a vehicle can detect and reject unauthorized users. The vehicle is able to compare the malicious actor with a list of authorized drivers on the blockchain. Furthermore, an authorized user can be prevented from taking certain actions, such as opening the glove box.
In closing, another interesting unique selling proposition of UNA is its core value of transparency. Parts used during the entire supply chain are tracked to ensure that partners and suppliers comply with environmentally-friendly standards during the manufacturing process, without compromising on quality.Overall, the prospect of the project appears quite promising. It comes at a time when the crypto sector, particularly Bitcoin has come under intense fire for its high energy usage.