EXCLUSIVE: Oil major boosts global net zero hopes with carbon NFT

Published 04:00 on April 1, 2022  /  Last updated at 22:34 on March 31, 2022  /  Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Australia, Aviation/CORSIA, Bavardage, Canada, Carbon Taxes, CBAM, China, Climate Talks, EMEA, EU ETS, International, Japan, Kyoto Mechanisms, Mexico, Middle East, Nature-based, New Zealand, Other APAC, Paris Article 6, Shipping, South & Central, South Korea, Switzerland, UK ETS, US, Voluntary  /  2 Comments

An Australian oil and gas company has unveiled plans to cut its emissions to zero by turning them into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), fuelling global hopes that the world can accelerate GHG cuts with the cryptocurrency approach, which analysts say can generate around 50 billion offsets per year.

An Australian oil and gas company has unveiled plans to cut its emissions to zero by turning them into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), fuelling global hopes that the world can accelerate GHG cuts with the cryptocurrency approach, which analysts say can generate around 50 billion offsets per year.

Perth-based Future Hopes Energy, the biggest exporter of oil and gas to low-lying islands in the Pacific region, will document the lifecycle carbon emissions of its products and sell them on blockchain as NFTs, the company announced on Friday.

Rhinos, tigers, and other threatened species will figure on artwork prepared by junior members of Perth Cricket Club, to be auctioned individually to a global blockchain audience, with the artwork carrying with it metadata showing successful buyers will each take on responsibility for 100,000 tonnes of CO2.

“In addition to creating an additional revenue stream likely worth millions, the emissions will go off our book as the NFT holders will own our entire carbon output. And once those emissions are tied up in NFTs, they’re not going anywhere. The ownership is real and the carbon will have been pacified and neutralised,” Future Hopes CEO Marlo Stanfield said in an announcement.

Lobbyists are now pushing governments and carbon standards worldwide to allow the carbon NFTs to generate offsets.

“For sure, there have been controversies around NFTs and whether someone really owns something represented by an image on blockchain as long as it still exists in the real world, but I think that debate is now settled. This is yet another example of how the ‘technology, not taxes’ approach will help the world meet our Paris targets,” Clay Davis, science director at the Global Coalition for Pretty Good Carbon Credits, told Carbon Pulse.

Observers expect the carbon NFT to quickly become an international hit, with the potential to catapult the voluntary carbon market to new heights as global emissions are approaching some 50 billion tonnes of CO2e annually and more than 120 countries have pledged to hit net zero carbon by mid-century.

Ohio-based energy and carbon market analyst Jimmy McNulty said tokenising the entire world’s carbon emissions in a non-fungible way would be doable by the end of the decade, minimising global climate risk while also demonstrating the maturity of the crypto and carbon markets alike.

“Look, there’s been a lot of gloating by companies that have gone ahead and just reduced their emissions,” said McNulty. “But those front-runners aren’t getting us anywhere. What we need is a solution that everyone can get behind.”

Stanfield, the Future Hopes CEO, said several global trading houses and investment banks had already been in touch about potential long-term offtake agreements, with offers being made in the $18-20/tonne range.

“Direct air capture offsets are priced significantly higher than nature-based solutions, and rightly so,” he said. “This new tech-based approach is so good, it makes your emissions go away at the press of a button, like magic.”

“Almost too good to be true,” said Stanfield.

Yet, some people still reading this article may be questioning the forced and unnatural structure of some of the paragraphs and wonder about all of this, especially if they put together the first letter in each of those. Even more so if they look at the calendar. No worries though, that feeling also can be auctioned off as an NFT with your personal CO2 emissions as attached metadata.

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