Non-fungible token draws attention to the environmental impacts of blockchain technology
TORONTO — The David Suzuki Foundation, one of Canada’s most trusted non-profit environmental organizations, has launched its own non-fungible token. The Nature Friendly Token, priced at 25,000,000 ETH (approximately C$50 billion at the time of writing) was created to draw attention to the destructive environmental impact of proof-of-work blockchain activity.
“The world has recently become fixated on the price of NFTs, but the cost of this digital medium on the environment is often overlooked,” said Yannick Beaudoin, senior economist and director general for Ontario and Northern Canada for the David Suzuki Foundation. “This NFT was designed to shift the conversation to the real cost of NFTs, and remind people that with today’s realities of mass species extinction and a global climate emergency, we must live, work and play with sustainability at top of mind.”
Proof-of-work blockchain networks consume huge amounts of energy, which results in an extraordinarily large amount of carbon emissions. While it can be difficult to precisely quantify, a typical NFT has a footprint of at least 200 kilograms of CO2. (This compares to flying for two hours or driving for about 1,000 kilometres.) The more transactions recorded to the blockchain, the more energy used. Every sale and resale of NFTs triggers a vicious cycle. By consciously investing carbon in this digital space, the David Suzuki Foundation is taking a measured risk to reach the contributors in the marketplace with a contextually relevant message when it matters most.
“The NFT space is yet another example of the absurd overuse of a scarce resource, carbon, for something that has no tangible value or use,” Beaudoin said. “We don’t mean to condemn art or creativity, but NFT development and trading is a recreational activity. With what we know about the climate crisis, we need to understand that a one-of-a-kind digital collectible is not worth the expense to our one-of-a-kind planet.”
The Nature Friendly Token was created in collaboration with Canadian visual artist, MCPHERSO and Toronto-based creative agency, Camp Jefferson. The NFT itself is a commentary on the value of blockchain technology, juxtaposed against the incredible cost of our most precious natural resources; namely, Canada’s boreal forest. These natural resources hold tremendous value. The boreal forest alone represents an estimated $50.9 billion per year in natural benefits, in addition to priceless non-monetizable benefits, hence the Nature Friendly Token’s $50 billion price.
As the craze around NFTs continues to grow, so does the environmental impact. With the Nature Friendly Token, the David Suzuki Foundation is calling on NFT developers and traders to pursue lower-emission cryptocurrency alternatives and proof-of-stake platforms, and ultimately, invest in preserving the greatest work of art we all share: nature.
See the Nature Friendly Token at rarible.com/davidsuzukifoundation
– 30 –
For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Brendan Glauser, email@example.com, 604-356-8829
The David Suzuki Foundation is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including government and business, to conserve the environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through evidence-based research, public engagement and policy work. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. Our vision is that we all act every day on the understanding that we are one with nature. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.