The Linux Foundation Reflects on Open Source’s Role in Climate Change Challenges

At the UN’s COP27 climate summit in November, “observer status” was granted to representatives from the Linux Foundation’s nonprofit Green Software Foundation, and from its Hyperledger Foundation, a not-for-profit umbrella project for open source blockchains and related tools.

So what happened? From the Linux Foundation’s blog:

At COP27, one thing that was clear to many is that the complexity of the climate crisis and the pace of change needed will require open source approaches to problem solving and information sharing — only then will we achieve the required global collaboration to collectively reduce carbon emissions and adapt our communities to survive extreme climate events. We believe that the Linux and Hyperledger Foundations have a role to play in this rapidly evolving ecosystem….

The Linux Foundation is committed to exploring how open source data models, standards, and technologies can enable a decarbonized economy. The lessons we learned at COP27 clarified that there is a crucial opportunity for us to contribute to this effort by developing open source solutions that provide accurate, curated, up-to-date, accessible, and interoperable emissions data, as well as open source tools that enable asset owners, asset managers, banks, and real economy companies to accelerate Net Zero-aligned resilient investment and finance in companies and projects that are climate-sustainable; enable real economy companies to accelerate their transition through Paris-aligned R&D, product development, and CapEx; provide regulators the information needed to manage systemic risk across the economy; empower policy makers and civil society to press for change more effectively.

We are excited to be part of this important movement! By taking a leadership role in this space with our projects, standards, and protocols, we hope to support global climate action in meaningful ways.
The blog post also shared an update from the representative from the Green Software Foundation, a non-profit creating “a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and best practices for green software.”
[T]the tech sector has a significant carbon footprint comparable to the shipping industry. For digital technologies to be true enablers for emissions reductions, there’s a clear need to ensure that when we replace a process with a digitized one, it gets us closer to our climate targets.

To support this end, at COP27, Green Software announced several initiatives to support this goal, from a free, certified Green Software for Practitioners course, as well as the Software Carbon Intensity specification, a standardized protocol to measure the carbon emissions of software to achieve wide industry and academic adoption, a pattern library for engineers to adopt in their own software designs, along with a month-long global hackathon, Carbonhack, demonstrating these techniques and the impact they can have in reducing emissions from information technologies.

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