The European Blockchain Convention interviewed the co-founder of PLENO, Nura Linggih, to discuss PLENO and the carbon credit market in the Web3 space.
Problems of the carbon credit market
The prevailing issues plaguing the current carbon credit market revolve around time, costs, and accuracy. The market lacks digitization, with a significant portion of the process still done manually. Moreover, the presence of numerous intermediaries in the ecosystem contributes to time-consuming procedures, with the typical duration for creating a carbon credit extending up to two years.
Within this landscape, different carbon registries, such as Verra, Gold Standard Foundation, Climate Action Reserve, American Carbon Registry (ACR), and others, employ their own distinct standards for calculating the estimated carbon removal. This variety of standards poses a challenge for project developers to follow up with the calculations and choose the most suitable registry.
For many project developers, particularly those operating with limited resources and expertise, navigating the complexities of carbon credit creation is challenging. Therefore, developers often seek consultants or external assistance, incurring substantial costs, with fees climbing as high as $100,000.
The heavy reliance on manual methodologies and inadequate real-time monitoring exacerbates issues related to emission calculations’ accuracy. These issues further lead to a lack of trust among buyers. There have also been several scandals and news on the carbon credit market, where the carbon credit buyers are actually purchasing “phantom credits.”
The start of PLENO and the backgrounds of the founder
“I always thought there would be an Ah-ha moment for a startup idea, but actually it’s not as sexy as that, I would say.”Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO
Drawing on his extensive academic and professional background in sustainability, Nura identified a significant issue within the carbon credit market. His journey into the realm of blockchain technology started a few years ago, and he started to learn about regenerative finance (ReFi), which perfectly merges his passion for blockchain technology with his sustainability expertise.
He started a blog named ‘Enjoy the weather’ to talk about Web3 and real-world use cases such as sustainability. He later joined ReFi DAO as a writer and discovered many interesting projects that inspired him.
Several months ago, Nura, along with Nino, his childhood friend since their time in Bali, Indonesia, decided to participate in the Blockchain Founders Group incubator program and successfully secured funding. As a result, Nura made the bold decision to leave his job as a sustainability solution manager at one of Germany’s most successful software companies and go all in with PLENO.
What is PLENO doing?
PLENO introduces a digital platform tailored to carbon credit project developers, streamlining the entire process of measuring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) carbon projects.
The PLENO platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and Geo-Information System (GIS) to collect all fragmented information such as satellite data to simplify the workflow. The team harnesses remote sensing and machine learning techniques to do a more robust analysis of carbon projects, enabling the identification of carbon stocks and sequestration activities. Read how PLENO uses AI for carbon credits here.
PLENO sets itself apart from other MRV players with its automatic calculator. This eliminates the need for manual work with complex formulas and spreadsheets, while also ensuring highly accurate carbon forecasting.
In the verification and certification process of carbon projects, PLENO plays a pivotal role in facilitating the certification of projects by accredited registry institutions. To enhance the validation and traceability of these certifications, PLENO assists in the recording of data onto a public blockchain. Carbon project developers can efficiently manage and share their data with verifiers and registries.
Looking ahead at the roadmap, PLENO has plans to incorporate a range of features, including real-time data validation, automated report generation, and secure data storage, further assisting carbon project developers.
How is PLENO different?
There is a growing trend of sustainability initiatives in the Web3 space, but the majority of Web3 carbon credit projects tend to focus on either as marketplaces or tokenization players and providing investments for carbon projects.
PLENO, on the other hand, is strategically positioned to target the vital middle ground of the carbon market. The team plays a pivotal role in assisting project developers in the establishment of high-quality projects.
PLENO’s Focus: Blue Carbon and Mangroves
PLENO is currently focusing on mangroves and other blue carbon projects. These projects are still new but are growing quickly. Mangroves are great because they absorb a lot of carbon and help protect coasts and communities. They’re also hard to measure, which is why a new solution like PLENO is needed.
So far, PLENO is working on 3 pilot projects in Indonesia, a country with 3.5 million hectares of mangroves, about 23% of the world’s total. PLENO is also talking with mangrove project developers in other places like Bangladesh and the Philippines, among others. In the near future, PLENO will also cater to other blue carbon projects such as seagrass.
Blockchain and Web3’s impact on the carbon credit market
Nura firmly believes that blockchain technology and Web3 will deeply impact the carbon credit markets in the coming years. Currently, these technologies occupy a relatively small niche of buyers. However, Nura envisions a future where companies in this space actively forge partnerships, demonstrate the practical utility of blockchain, and grow together as an ecosystem.
The co-founder is convinced that the goal of net-zero emissions and combating climate change cannot be achieved without carbon projects. Even though he anticipates that prices may experience a decline following the initial hype, it’s when the true innovators and builders will persist in advancing their projects.
“Web3 and Sustainability is a growing ecosystem, so we need to go together. We cannot do it alone… we need to prove that there is a real use case of using blockchain to solve problems such as carbon removal and its credits.”Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO
Make sure to follow PLENO on LinkedIn. PLENO is launching its 1st MVP in October, if you’d like to try it and stay ahead of the carbon market, register for early access here. For more information and partnership queries, contact Nura directly here.
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