dips / Make Devcon carbon neutral

Make Devcon carbon neutral

DIP 01: Make Devcon carbon neutral

Summary of Proposal

Give Devcon participants a taste of a regenerative economy, by allowing them to offset the carbon emissions associated with the event, as part of the ticketing process.

Abstract

We want to offer attendees the ability to offset the carbon emissions from Devcon. This includes both direct emissions that occur during the event—energy use, air conditioning, food, etc.—as well as indirect emissions that are tightly coupled to it—most importantly, accommodation and flights.

We have identified 2 ways of approaching offsetting, each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. We will outline these options, and engage the community to find the most suitable option.

The user will be able to pay directly within the ticketing process. Offsetting contributions are destined for the highest quality local carbon projects in our host nation of Colombia.

Motivation & Rationale

Most of us working on Ethereum are obsessed with building a "better future", and even though we're all focused on different building blocks, we understand that a radical shift is only possible if we combine these blocks into a global, interconnected, social and economic system.

We believe that any new system needs to learn from the shortcomings of previous systems and strive to be regenerative, forward thinking, keeping the best interests of future generations in mind. Internalising the cost of any negative social and environmental impact is tantamount to achieving this.

Devcon is where we discover, connect, and sync with the global ecosystem and where we set the foundations for future collaborations, and as such plays an essential role in this new system. We see this as an opportunity for Devcon to lead by example by taking action to minimize its negative impact on the natural world, and by doing so we have the opportunity to prompt participants to reflect on their own actions, and not only imagine a better future, but to immediately take action and be a part of that vision by internalizing one relatively well understood externality: the carbon emissions associated with their participation at Devcon. We also hope that this will inspire participants to build value on the potential of such a balanced eco-system.

Rough emissions estimates for 3500 attendees and 4 days:
→ Direct emissions = 150 t
→ Accommodation = 280 t
→ Transport = 1350 t

High quality carbon offset price per ton:
→ 10 – 20 USD

Implementation

Organizational

  • How the funds gathered during the ticketing process will be used to offset the event's carbon footprint will be discussed in a future DIP. This DIP should describe the governance and allocation of the funds and could be developed in collboration with other projects like Terra0 or the Sovereign Nature Initiative. Inputs from the community are encouraged!
  • Gather data to best estimate the carbon footprint of the event.

Technical

  • Build a user-friendly front-end integration into Devcon's ticketing process.
  • Users can pay with the same currencies as are accepted by the Devcon ticketing process.

Previous experience

  • This will be the first time that we integrate carbon offsetting into the ticketing process of an event.
  • We already have a running PoC which you can check out here.

Post-event

  • It will be very valuable for us to discover the offsetting appetite of the Ethereum community as well as seeing how people and other projects are using our product.
  • The data we gather at Devcon 2021 will also help us make more accurate predictions about the carbon footprint of Devcon 2022 and other events. Let's improve data accuracy where possible!

Operational Requirements & Ownership

  1. What actions are required to implement the proposal at Devcon?

    • The only effort that is needed at Devcon would be including of any bracelet or swag at checkin. All other efforts are focused on the booking process integration.
  2. Who will be responsible for the proposal to be implemented effectively? (i.e. working on Day 0)

    • CO2ken will be responsible for the successful implementation of this proposal.
  3. What other projects could this proposal be integrated with? (Bonus points for collaboration across teams :))

    • Anyone who offsets their emissions will receive an NFT representing their contribution.
    • We would love to see other teams pick this up to create positive reinforcement, e.g. participants with the NFT get special swag, discounts, etc.
    • We will actively approach other projects where we see fun ways to collaborate as more DIPs appear.
    • We don't want to punish those who decided against (or simply missed the option to) offsetting their carbon footprint. But we want to reward those who did. Creating value around positive behavior is a simple, yet powerful way to change today's economics—carrots, not sticks!

Links & Additional Information

Questions we often get and possible answers:

  • But we don't have the data to accurately calculate the carbon footprint of X ?

    Unfortunately today, most things fall into the X category where we would need more data to fully understand the climate impact of a certain action. But this data is often not measured, siloed or private. We believe developing systems that can collect and aggregate carbon footprint data are amongst the most important things to focus on right now.

    But the lack of accurate data should not be used as an excuse for not starting to act in the first place. Let's not forget: we’re dealing with CO2 emissions. If we use the data we have, take the most conservative estimate, and start offsetting these emissions, we will at worst offset too much. Given the state of the planet, we need to do this anyway.

  • Aren't carbon offsets the new letters of indulgence?

    We want to make it clear that offsetting is no silver bullet. Studies estimate that three quarters of circulating carbon credits are “hot air” and don’t lead to additional emission reductions. We should foremost aim to reduce our carbon footprint overall, and only compensate for those activities for which no good alternatives exist today.

    This is why a lot of research has to go into sourcing the right projects. Ultimately, our goal at CO2ken is to shed light into the opaque carbon offset value chain in order to unlock the rapid growth we need to see in climate finance.

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