One year in on our mission to reverse climate change
All disclaimers apply to this post. But that is not going to stop me from laying out below (and betting my career on it) how Nori is going to get off the ground and build a functioning market to accelerate climate change reversal.
Before I do that, if you’ve got 54 minutes, have a listen to the first webinar where we go in to what we’ve done in the last year we went into the back story and that answers any questions.
A lot has happened in the last year. We started a podcast. At the time of writing have recorded 33 episodes with sustainability and blockchain practioners. We have been learning from different potential customers and started building a product that understands the user flows for buyers, suppliers, and verifiers. We started putting code on a github repository. We have an incredibly talented team of nine people working to build software that creates an ecosystem to quantify and monetize carbon removal. We’ve worked through the finer details of how what we’re doing works in the blockchain ecosystem, and how we can responsibly build a new voluntary carbon removal marketplace to connect supply and demand for carbon removal.
So, in order to pull off, three things need to exist:
1. A first methodology
If you want to know what a methodology is, read my colleague Alexsandra Guerra’s blog post which gives a sneak peak into the framework that Nori is applying to making methodologies. A methodology is what allows a “supplier” to list, estimate, quantify, and verify a Carbon Removal Certificate (CRC). A CRC is what sells for NORI. What we create has to withstand expert peer review, improve over time, be more transparent and efficient than traditional markets, and be poised to leverage data. For starters, we’re launching a methodology that will allow farmers in the United States who can add carbon dioxide to their soils through different cropping practices. Making methodologies in our system require a baseline generator. For us, that begins with COMET Farm.
2. A community committed to seeing this work
The community we’re building includes: potential buyers, suppliers, verifiers, technology enablers, and peer reviewers. They don’t need to understand the entire ins and outs of the entire system design, but they do need to be willing to join us on this journey. Our approach is to be wildly transparent with webinars, podcasts, and video calls. We need to treat this as an experiment. Together we can build a superior user experience of buying, supplying, verifying, enabling, or reviewing methodologies for carbon dioxide removal. We will learn together and share knowledge rapidly. The roots of the important initial community we’re launching with is comprised of suppliers (farmers) in the United States, and buyers from luminary Fortune 500 companies. This community will work with us to get the kinks out and alpha test the entire market infrastructure. We have a growing cadre of government officials, nonprofits, brands, and academics paying attention. As we plant our stake in the ground, we are eager to build partnerships with fellow travellers.
3. A token
A key part of our design is to use a token to determine a value-based price for putting carbon dioxide away. This will happen through the NORI token, which pays for one Carbon Removal Certificiate (CRC). To get the token out into circulation, we’re starting with a presale. There will be two types of buyers who will be interested.
- A company that is going to use it to pay for a Carbon Removal Certificate.
- An investor
Details on all of this will be forthcoming, but we are doing everything we can to dot the t’s and cross the i’s to be legally compliant in the eyes of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Beyond the presale, unaccredited investors will be able to participate too and we are taking steps to make it a great user experience to use NORI to pay for CRCs.
Look ahead, but be just in time
Beyond the presale and alpha launch, we know that there is a lot of work ahead. Working with collaborators, we will enable the ability to generate carbon removal certificates from data already being collected from farm management software. We will add more methodologies and establish the open infrastructure that contributes to better quantification and estimation of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. From a software development perspective, we bite off sizes of work in the right size, following the principles of the agile manifesto:
- Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software
- Welcome changing requirements, even in late development
- Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
- Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
- Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
- Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
- Working software is the primary measure of progress
- Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
- Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential
- Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
- Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly
Where this can all go
Farmers will be incentivized to switch land management practices to begin to take steps to put more carbon away. We’ll accelerate an industry of farm designers who will work with farmers to improve their soil health and start making decisions that don’t just account for how much $/acre they can gain from certain management decisions from a yield perspective, but $/acre in terms of how much carbon can be removed. Suppliers will expand beyond the United States to the rest of the world. New ways to remove carbon and regenerate the health of the planet will be added into our platform. The market will incentivize new ideas to start doing the desired activity: carbon removal. And for the first time ever, a digital instrument will exist that will actually represent one metric tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. We don’t expect to be alone in the more than one trillion tonne drawdown market that is required to reverse climate change. But we are eager to be the first!