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December 19, 2023

Hyphen Joins Hedera Guardian Ecosystem to Develop new dMRV Methodologies

Hyphen Joins Hedera Guardian Ecosystem to Develop new dMRV Methodologies
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We are excited to announce that HYPHEN has partnered with the HBAR Foundation and joined their Hedera Guardian ecosystem to offer high-quality carbon credits in Indonesia by enhancing the process of validating their value through improved digital measurement, reporting, and verification (dMRV). The new dMRV methods introduced through this integration monitor the exchange of GHGs between the terrestrial surface and the atmosphere (fluxes) using scientific instrumentation that measures changing concentrations of atmospheric GHGs on a continuous, ongoing basis.

HYPHEN will lead the design of new Hedera Guardian-based methodologies for dMRV based on measured quantities of tons of carbon dioxide or equivalent in reduced emissions or removals from the atmosphere. This will in turn enable the generation of higher quality and transparent carbon credits that, once scaled, will empower institutions in their quest to reach Net Zero.  

Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV)

The process of measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of GHG emissions and removals is at the heart of carbon markets. Accurate MRV is also crucial for tracking progress toward emission reduction goals and is integral to ensuring that countries fulfill their commitments to honoring the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement.

There have been documented challenges with the accuracy of reporting concerning the scope and scale of carbon offsets sold on carbon markets as assessed using current practices, particularly for dynamic and climate-sensitive economic sectors and natural ecosystems. Current methods of determining GHG reductions or avoidance rely on estimates by activity and do not factor in shifts in environmental conditions affecting ecosystem health and development.  

These challenges have typically resulted in over-estimating the carbon offset benefits and have resulted in major trust issues that are undermining carbon markets and subsequently the perceived value of carbon credits as a whole. This has slowed the adoption of carbon markets as a crucial mechanism for achieving Net Zero by large-scale organizations.

Atmospheric GHG Monitoring and National MRV

Measuring GHG emissions or removals directly offers improved transparency.  The United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) intergovernmental World Meteorological Congress, recognizes “the growing societal importance of greenhouse gas monitoring in support of improving scientific understanding of the Earth System, and the urgent need to strengthen the scientific underpinning of mitigation actions taken by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.” By combining atmospheric GHG monitoring with data collected by Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and tracked on-chain via the Guardian, HYPHEN is helping to ensure that high-quality, transparent data underpins carbon markets.

At the same time, by conforming to inter-governmentally accepted scientific practices, the observations and data collected contribute to UNFCCC Parties’ efforts to accurately report on their national contributions towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that, for national inventory preparation, “studies using regional atmospheric monitoring networks or targeted observation campaigns are being used for improving the knowledge about regional and facility level emissions and contributing to updating the emission factors for selected emission categories", including for the oil and gas sector, urban emissions, and emissions from agriculture.  In its 49th session, the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice concluded that combining atmospheric observations with other sources of information to enhance understanding of GHG concentrations and fluxes at multiple spatial scales supports the needs of a broad range of users, and encouraged the use of this framework.

The White House has unveiled the National Strategy to Advance an Integrated U.S. Greenhouse Gas Measurement, Monitoring, and Information System, placing a significant focus on expanding atmospheric observations and incorporating GHG flux measurements to refine emissions factors. This approach aims to enhance the understanding and quantification of emissions and removals from natural systems, allowing the nation to effectively assess the ongoing effectiveness of natural systems as sinks, monitor potential climate feedback loops, and differentiate natural systems fluxes from industrial emissions like fossil fuels.

At COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Envision Blockchain, HBAR Foundation and Swirlds Labs, unveiled a set of pioneering enhancements to the open-source Guardian and Managed Guardian Service (MGS) platform. Developed in consultation with the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub, these advancements mark a significant step toward digital transformation in carbon markets. The announcement was accompanied by a presentation from by Envision Blockchain and HBAR Foundation at the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub Pavilion at COP28, followed by a panel discussion with HYPHEN on “Innovations in Climate Finance, MRV, & Data Management through web3 Tooling.”

HYPHEN's dMRV methodology provides near real-time atmospheric GHG measurements, continuously monitoring GHG concentrations and their changes in space and time (fluxes) within a specific region. These techniques have been under continuous development for over 60 years and are backed by extensive scientific literature. “Flux Towers” with IoT sensors will provide the necessary data to support dMRV in near real-time - providing the best available science data quality. This atmospheric monitoring infrastructure features LI-COR eddy covariance systems, with gas analyzers that have been chosen as the global standard by major flux networks for their precision, accuracy, and stability. LI-COR sensors are engineered for long-term deployment and offer superior gas measurements over a full temperature range, measuring CO2, CH4, H2O, and energy flux. In addition to providing precision GHG flux measurements, the data collected will also help to improve GHG flux estimation generally, including with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) models.

To maximize transparency and traceability, all raw IoT sensor data runs in parallel with modeled flux data through the Guardian. A distinctive feature of this process is the direct logging of IoT sensor data onto Hedera before undergoing AI and ML modeling. This approach ensures a transparent audit trail of the final output and modeled data.

Flux monitoring towers measure GHG concentrations every ten seconds, logging raw data onto Hedera while in parallel computing field flux values every 30 minutes. This enables the most accurate measurement of grams of CO2 & CH4  being sequestered (negative flux) or emitted (positive flux), providing precision daily CDR measurements.

HYPHEN plans to deploy these new Guardian methodologies for two pilot projects in Indonesia. These will validate the application of dMRV for GHG emissions, reductions, removals, and avoidance, in the project regions and more broadly. HYPHEN welcomes collaborative efforts with traditional carbon registries to gain insights into their challenges, requirements, and best practices. This collaborative approach aims to equip carbon registries with customized approaches, addressing specific needs, and fostering enhancements in market functionality, ultimately contributing to elevated credit pricing.

Scaling the Carbon Markets

All data generated for the projects supported with atmospheric dMRV will be fully auditable and traceable from the IoT devices, through HYPHEN’s internal systems and into the Guardian ecosystem, following the framework set forth by the Interwork Alliance dMRV taskforce, permitting issuance and tokenization of higher grade carbon credits.

Near real-time atmospheric GHG monitoring can be scaled for specific project regions, and offers a transparent record of emissions, reductions, and removals over space and time.  This dMRV approach being spearheaded by HYPHEN complements efforts to deploy national GHG monitoring networks such as the one under development by the Government of Indonesia as part of the WMO Global Greenhouse Gas Watch infrastructure.

We hope that the Indonesian pilots will provide the basis, and confidence, for adopting the new atmospheric-based methodology for dMRV, while laying a foundation for further mainstreaming throughout Southern Asia, Africa, Latin America, and beyond.  Restoring trust in carbon markets, especially in nature-based carbon offsets, will incentivize investment and assist these markets to play their important role in achieving NetZero.