MSc Defence by Jack Sebastian Robinson

Title

Unchaining REDD+? Blockchain and Climate Change

Abstract

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) has been heralded as a climate change mitigation policy with significant potential for reducing global emissions, since it was first proposed in 2005. Since then however, it has failed to live up to initial expectations, for a number of reasons. This thesis explores these reasons and analyses whether or not blockchain, a new type of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), has the capacity to address any of the underlying challenges. Blockchain has received a lot of recent hype as a new technology with many potential applications and socio-economic ramifications, but there has been sparse academic attention on what it cannot do, and potential new problems it could create. Following a conceptual pairing analysis between blockchain and REDD+, exploratory interviews examine where and how blockchain could be used within the existing REDD+ system, or in a new model that addresses the challenges of REDD+ in different ways to achieve the same outcomes. Four models are proposed that offer potential ways for blockchain to be used to improve REDD+ as it moves into the second decade of implementation.

Supervisors:
Boris Düdder
Jens Friis Lund

External examiner:
Mads Rosendahl