European Commission Launches €800,000 Research on Crypto’s Ecological Footprint

Author: Tom Thompson
Last Updated:
October 1, 2023

European Commission Pledges €800,000 to Green Crypto Initiatives

In a recent eco-forward stride, the European Commission is investing €800,000 (equivalent to $842,000) to assess and mitigate the ecological repercussions of digital currencies.

The Commission unveiled a detailed plan on September 26, cheekily named “Crypto-Green: Redefining Sustainable Digital Transactions.” Through this document, the Commission spotlighted the burgeoning concerns surrounding the carbon footprint of digital currencies, pointing out:

“Cryptocurrencies, depending on their validation protocols, might just be eco-unfriendly guests at the global economy’s dinner table.”

Given the growing appetite for cryptocurrency transactions and mining operations, even within Europe’s borders, there’s a palpable apprehension that these digital operations might be at odds with the ecological aspirations etched in the Paris Climate Accord.

Linking Digital Coins to Global Climate Aspirations

Remember the momentous 2015 Paris Agreement? World leaders pledged to cap global warming at a maximum of 2°C over the yesteryears’ industrial temperatures, ideally hovering around a 1.5°C rise. Nations, in a show of solidarity, submit periodic climate roadmaps to curtail emissions, with a spotlight on accountability and aiding the economies still developing their wings.

Fast forward to 2016, the Paris Agreement got the green signal from over 55 nations, contributing to a whopping 55% of global emissions, with Europe leading the charge.

Yet, the recent crypto-surge has thrown a spanner in the works. Thus, the European Commission’s latest endeavour, open for proposals until November 10, aims to chalk out eco-friendly benchmarks for the digital currency realm. The vision? Foster energy-smart labels tailored for blockchain networks. Spread over 13 months, this initiative hopes to empower the Commission to delve deep into the ecological implications of cryptocurrency mining and, on its heels, sculpt financial regulations for this digital realm.

The EU’s Grand Design: Eco-Friendly Digital Prosperity

The €800,000 green crypto initiative isn’t a standalone endeavour. It’s a fragment of the EU’s panoramic view of a sustainable future, aligned with the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Blueprint. Both blueprints, unveiled in the crisp autumn of 2022, paint a picture of an eco-forward Europe, with digital currencies being a piece of this vast puzzle.

The REPowerEU Blueprint, born in the wake of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, aims to recalibrate Europe’s energy compass, leveraging the geopolitical tussle as a catalyst to embrace cleaner energy avenues.

A pivotal piece of this mosaic focuses on the energy pulse of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, housing blockchains within its vast digital atrium.

As the Commission gears up for this 12-month exploration, it will sift through the digital grains, focusing on crypto’s thirst for water, waste trails, natural resource appetites, and its electric heartbeat. The EU is not just eyeing the horizon; it’s charting the course towards it.