22.09.18

There is a unique opportunity to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and the societal changes it triggers – to help address environmental issues and transform how we manage our shared global environment.

World Economic Forum Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet is published by the World Economic Forum System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security in partnership with PwC and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.  The Report seeks to explore the blockchain’s potential – not just for finance or industry, but for people and outlines how blockchain could disrupt the way the world manages environmental resources and help drive sustainable growth and value creation.

It identifies more than 65 use-cases where blockchain can be applied to the world’s most-pressing environmental systems challenges, along with eight ‘game changers’ where the technology could fundamentally disrupt current systems and approaches. To date, these opportunities remain largely untapped by developers, investors, and governments, yet they represent an opportunity to unlock and monetize value that is currently embedded in environmental systems.

(individuals and states), affected by the impacts of climate change. The most common climate issues brought to court involved coal-fired power plants and other air quality concerns. The researchers found that litigants favoring climate-related regulation, such as constraining carbon dioxide emissions from cars and protecting biodiversity, won most frequently when the cases were based on federal environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act.

Interestingly, effects on health and welfare have not been measured. The earlier study by the same group of the researchers, titled "The Role of Health in Climate Litigation", published in The American Journal of Public Health in April 2018, found that that health is cited in a minority of 873 cases. The researchers underscored, that "increasing inclusion of health concerns in emergent areas of litigation could catalyze effective climate policy-making.” 

The study found, that litigants asking the courts for more regulations to curb emissions more frequently lost lawsuits. At the same time, litigants who want to address climate change often win renewable energy and energy efficiency cases. The courts favored the pro-regulatory positions in these kinds of cases by a ratio of 2.6 to 1."

Such cases may be an underappreciated opportunity for litigants who want more government regulation in the climate change arena, the researchers conclude.

By Katsiaryna Serada

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