How the innovative use of crypto NFTs can help battle climate change

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The pressure is mounting on countries to cut emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Although these country pledges matter, individual action, and awareness are key to delivering the changes needed in society. How can artists use their NFT collections to help the fight against climate change?

NFTs made the headlines for all the right reasons across mainstream social media networks and the world of crypto this year. However, environmentalists question the overuse of technology that requires an abundance of energy.

Thankfully, things in the decentralized web of wonders move fast and although minting and sending an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain used to require the same amount of energy as heating a house for over a day, the new proof of stake mechanism decreases this to the same amount of energy as sending a tweet.

With proof of stake blockchains like Cardano, Polkadot, and Algorand reducing the carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies, there are more opportunities to use NFT technology to address some of the bigger issues. 

Innovative NFT art collections are showcasing initiatives that inspire climate action. Collections are highlighting alternative energy solutions, green NFTs, carbon offsetting, and the role of nature in our fight against climate disaster. 

How NFT artists are doing their bit to save the planet

NFT artists (just like companies and countries around the world) are conscious of their carbon footprint and the legacy they leave behind when it comes to climate change. Artists like Beeple have committed to offsetting the emissions for all future collections.  

Sun Signals by Kevin Abosch is just one collection that directs our attention to the power of the sun’s energy. “It is both a celebration of the star that powers all life processes on Earth while reminding us of the lethal specter of climate change precipitated by industry. Sun Signals are generated “off the grid” using the artist’s solar-powered computer servers.”

Another vibrant, climate-focused collection is Sven Eberwein’s animation Scarce Resources collection vividly captures #01 — One Second of Petroleum (2021). The NFT ties the money of its sale to the purchase of an appropriate amount of carbon offsets. 

Examples of NFT’s being used to propel climate awareness was prevalent with the #CarbonDrop initiative in March of this year when digital artists Beeple, Refik Anadol, Sara Ludy, Kyle Gordon, Bradley Munkowitz, Andrés Reisinger, Mieke Marple, and Fvckrender donated 100% of the proceeds from their artwork to Open Earth Foundation, a registered nonprofit focused on cutting edge research and deployment on the use of open digital infrastructure, including blockchains, for climate accounting under the Paris Agreement. 

Since then they have launched a DigitalArt4Climate project with Unique Network and the UN-Habitat encouraging activists and artists to come together in support of climate research. The winners of this climate-focused NFT competition will have the chance to exhibit in Glasgow in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26).

Artist and computer scientist Memo Akten produced a guide to eco-friendly CryptoArt which is worth monitoring for future developments in this space.

With Proof of Stake blockchains, it is important to turn the attention of NFTs towards sustainable creation and climate inspiration.

Digital artists now have the opportunity to provide a visual representation of the damage that is caused by climate inaction and showcase the ongoing activities related to carbon capture and offsetting. From Crypto Trees to the UN Digital Art initiative, there are NFT projects that are driving sustainable awareness in ways that never existed before.

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