Interrogating the promises and perils of climate cryptogovernance: Blockchain discourses in international climate politics

J.W.J. Hull, A. Gupta*, S. Kloppenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article interrogates the assumed promises and perils of climate cryptogovernance or deployment of cryptographic technology (i.e., blockchain) within climate governance. We distill how climate cryptogovernance is
being discussed by influential climate policy actors, and the implications for reinforcing or challenging how climate governance currently occurs. Specifically, through discourse analysis, we explore how blockchain technology is presented in the communications of international organisations and multistakeholder initiatives in the climate policy space. We identify a dominant storyline being advanced that views blockchain as an enabler of ambitious climate action, through its potential to enhance the reliability, transparency, accountability, and
democratic quality of climate governance. We critically interrogate each of these component elements of the dominant storyline, arguing that, taken as a whole, they tend to privilege a technocratic, market-oriented approach to climate governance. We conclude by reflecting on whether this risks reinforcing a problematic ‘post-political’ turn in environmental governance in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100117
JournalEarth System Governance
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Blockchain
  • Climate cryptogovernance
  • Climate politics
  • Transparency
  • UNFCCC

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