By Alex Lightman,
Alex Lightman is the chairman of Coinfield, a regulated exchange operating in 186 countries, which is currently offering the Coinfield coin at Coinfieldcoin.com. He is a director on the board of Tingo, Inc. (OTCBB: IWBB), Africa’s leading Afro-fintech with 10 million. Lightman is the author or co-author of five books, most recently the Amazon bestseller Augmented: Life In The Smart Lane. He attended MIT and Harvard.
Climate change is a very real problem that has been affecting the global population and economy for the past fifty years. With the increase in industrialization of countries around the world, greenhouse gas emissions have skyrocketed, resulting in the gradual warming of the global climate. The result of such artificial invasion into and tampering with the fragile balance of the world’s climatic ecosystem is the destruction of the ozone layer and the ensuing degeneration of predictable weather patterns. The effects are clear, as natural disasters have become a common occurrence that destroy countless lives every year, spreading general misery and undermining the stability of social and economic frameworks.
Rising air temperatures, rising sea levels, changing rainfall rates and an increase in extreme weather events are the consequences of climate change that are undermining the socio-economic development of many countries with hot climates. In the long term, these unnatural changes pose a direct threat to the life, health and safety of these countries’ inhabitants. Some island nations in the Indian Ocean already threaten to disappear underwater, while flooding menaces such cities as Venice, New York and even London.
The impact on the global geopolitical, social and economic makeup is evident as populations will be forced to migrate from coastal regions inland in search of shelter and resources. Considering that over 80% of the world’s population lives along seashores, the effects of such a massive migration are predictable, leading to famine, lack of resources and energy carriers, and ensuing international conflicts in the struggle for economic welfare and — ultimately — survival.
The IPCC recently published a report that outlined the impact of global climate change in 2021, highlighting that the year will be the sixth or seventh hottest year on record and hotter than any year prior to 2015, despite La Niña having drawn cold water to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The year 2000 saw a La Niña event of similar strength to that in 2021, but 2021 was more than 0.4°C hotter than 2000, consistent with the long-term human-caused global warming trend of about 0.2°C per decade. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report concluded that humans are most likely responsible for 100% of the approximately 1.1°C global warming over the past 150 years, and that climate change will continue to worsen instances of extreme heat, droughts, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes.
The same report indicates that 2022 is likely to be even worse in terms of climate change effects and that new natural disasters can be expected. The WMO Global Annual Decadal Climate Update report states that the annual mean global near-surface temperature is likely to be at least 1°C warmer than pre-industrial levels in each of the coming 5 years and is very likely to be within the range 0.9°C to 1.8°C. It also stresses that there is a 40% chance that at least one of the next 5 years will be 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, a chance that is increasing with time. It is, however, unlikely that the five-year mean global near-surface temperature for 2021–2025 will be 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, while the chance of at least one year exceeding the current warmest year, 2016, in the next five years is 90%. The report concludes that over the period of 2021–2025, almost all regions, except parts of the southern oceans and the North Atlantic are likely to be warmer than the recent past, and that high latitude regions and the Sahel are likely to be wetter than the recent past.
The overall prospects for the global climate are dreary, making it evident that action must be taken on the socio-economic and technological frontiers to prevent a disaster of global proportions.
Ongoing processes result in average annual temperature increases in such densely-populated regions as Africa, where warming is happening faster than the global average. By the 2040s, the continent may be completely devoid of glaciers in the Kilimanjaro basin, as well as in Kenya and the Rwenzori mountains, as stated in a forecast made by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an agency of the United Nations (UN).
Fighting climate change can cost up to $10 trillion in total if proper efforts are taken immediately, according to the International Monetary Fund, which stresses that the funds are needed urgently to mitigate the effects of the impending climate crisis. The Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 outlined the desire of virtually all countries to solve this problem, but little action has since been taken to actually decrease greenhouse gas emissions or at least partially mitigate the effects of rampant fossil fuel consumption.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ climate science research group, concluded in a major report that it is “unequivocal” that it is humans who are responsible for the warming of the skies, waters and land, and that “widespread and rapid changes” have already occurred in every inhabited region of the world.
The main problem resulting from such man-made action is that regions whose economies are based primarily on agriculture are at significant risk. Natural disasters, floods and droughts in such countries lead to dire consequences for their populations. Experts report that more frequent droughts since 2012 have resulted in a 46% increase in the number of undernourished or malnourished people in tropical Africa. Over 872 million people across the continent are starving, as outlined in a report by the United Nations. Another report by the Global Hunger Index shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many African countries, leading to an increase in hunger levels across the continent.
Continued climate change is a major risk for the world’s population and measures must be taken to leverage existing and developing technologies to mitigate its effects and improve the efficiency of food production and supply chain management. The efforts of “green” companies and blockchain-based startups are becoming important driving forces in setting such changes in motion.
Scientists have recently stated that in order to avoid further climate warming, global carbon emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030. A UN-conducted analysis of the activities of more than 100 countries shows that these emissions, on the contrary, will grow by 16% in the stated period. Ultimately, this could result in temperatures rising by as much as 2.7°C above pre-industrial times — figures well above normal limits. This warning from the UN about the threatening scale of the problem appeared on the eve of the UN climate conference in Glasgow (COP 26), which has, once again, resulted in no significant movement or decisions on the part of leading global countries.
According to the report prepared by the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, there is a 90% chance that at least one year between 2021 and 2025 will become the warmest year on record, ousting 2016 from its sad pedestal. Such predictions cast serious doubts on the ongoing efforts being taken by major countries to stem the rise of global temperatures.
With an increase in the average temperature on the planet of around 2.5°C — or even 3°C to 4°C — expected in the near future, the world can expect catastrophic scenarios such as global ice sheets melting and flooding lower coastal plains, forcing millions of people to migrate. Therefore, extraordinary measures must be taken starting today to stop global warming.
Fortunately, solutions are already being developed and fielded that have the potential to slow the effects of global warming and improve food security around the world in affected regions.
Green Companies and the Green Economy
The “green” movement started in the 1970s as a motel motto promoting “greenwashing” as a means of reducing water consumption for laundry machines. However, since then, the movement has taken on global proportions and expanded into global corporations that have taken a stance to improve their production processes and business operations in an effort to mitigate their carbon footprints and environment impact.
Corporate social responsibility has evolved from a simple tag line in company news feeds to a separate movement that undertakes important initiatives to turn corporate profits into feedback for the community and the world. Among the sectors encompassed by CSR are social activities like helping orphans and the elderly, as well as environmental initiatives, such as planting trees, recycling and making donations to “green” startups and endeavors.
Available statistical data shows that the “green economy” is home to more than 3,000 global listed companies with a $4 trillion market capitalization opportunity equivalent to over 5% of the total listed equity market. The “green economy” is defined as comprising 10 sectors, including energy generation, energy efficiency, environmental resources, sustainable food and agriculture, clean transport, waste and pollution control, and water infrastructure. These sectors are further broken down into 64 subsectors and 133 microsectors.
However, the most important activities of “green” companies and the “green economy” are concentrated in several major directions that include the following:
Renewable energy is the most obvious sector that has to be addressed to reduce global economic dependence on fossil fuels and introduce new means of energy production.
The manufacture of industrial goods without the use of plastics and without CO2 emissions into the atmosphere is another major direction that is being explored in full through the development of innovative methods of production and recycling.
Food production is the third major sector that encompasses one the largest industries in the world, and one of the most important for ensuring global stability. Achieving efficiency of food production is a vital challenge for the green economy and a significant opportunity for capitalization that can be tapped by both startups and existing institutional entities.
An important factor in the growth of green companies is government support. For instance, the EU will soon introduce an import tax on “carbon footprints” for industrial products if CO2 emissions during their production exceed established norms. A number of countries have announced that they intend to achieve “carbon neutrality”, or equality of emissions and absorption of carbon dioxide, by 2030, thus progressing towards the goal of reducing climate change impact.
Statistical data indicates that the energy and manufacturing efficiency sector takes up the lion’s share of the green economy, at around 33%. It is followed by energy generation and renewable energy resources, which occupy a significant niche of around 14%. Next are transport equipment, waste management and energy equipment production, which take up an average of 10% each. Smaller sectors include transport solutions, water infrastructure technologies and environmental resources at 6% each. The last two sectors of note are food and agriculture and environmental support services, with 4% and 2% respectively.
Many of these sectors, such as energy efficiency, emission control, food production and desalination, can be taken over by the Nwassa platform, which will connect companies operating in these sectors with the end user. This is especially true of the undercapitalized and underrated agriculture sector, which is suffering from the effects of poor efficiency and supply chain management.
With current food waste and resource utilization efficiency being low, the Nwassa platform can leverage its existing solutions and apply blockchain-based technologies to allow users from the African continent to take advantage of new means of production and supply chain management. Considering the fact that a large number of green cryptocurrencies and startups have been developed in the past few years, it is logical to assume that the green movement will spread to the decentralized market.
The Nwassa platform is determined to make such blockchain-based solutions available not only across Africa, but in other countries as well. By streamlining production processes and resource management, the company can help small farmers make higher profits and allow entire national economies to attain food security and self-sufficiency, thus negating the detrimental effects of climate change and the dependence on globalization.
An increase in average annual temperatures and global warming around the world is likely to occur in the near future, with catastrophic impact for all countries with or without coastal areas. Developing countries and agricultural economies in Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are especially at risk, considering their resource centralization and large population levels.
If humanity cannot achieve solidarity in its efforts to stem the impact of rampant industrialization, then global warming will turn into a more dire threat than Covid-19 ever was. In order to prevent such a catastrophic scenario, the joint efforts of governments, society and business are needed, which must be linked with the proper use of available and future technologies.
The Nwassa 2.0 platform offers viable and innovative sustainability initiatives that seek to address climate change and food security. The use of new technologies, especially blockchain, will allow the platform to track multiple directions simultaneously and secure food prices through the use of smart contracts.
The Coinfield Exchange is a key partner in this endeavor, fast-tracking the trade of green instruments and tokens, making them available to millions of people. As an agricultural platform, Nwassa will sell all-green goods and services, especially food supplies, providing producers with a transparent and reliable system of market entry. Nwassa and Coinfield are also planning a number of emission reduction initiatives in the coming years to help reduce global carbon emissions, especially on the African continent.