In the weeks following the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which concluded that climate change and ensuing extreme weather events are inevitable for at least the next three decades, the U.S. alone has endured deadly floods, ravenous wildfires and historic storms. Days after Hurricane Ida battered Louisiana, the NWS issued its first flash flood emergency warning for New York City, much of which was soon submerged.
If climate-related crises are inescapable, how can governments, businesses and individuals in developed and – most crucially – developing regions better prepare to face them? Sid Jha, CEO of parametric insurance platform Arbol and founding member of decentralized climate and weather data marketplace dClimate, gave an insightful SmartCon keynote explaining how Chainlink’s oracles can help people and societies adapt to shifting weather patterns and mounting climate-related risks.
“The question that comes up is why climate data matters – we get asked this all of the time,” Jha said.
“A lot of people are one natural catastrophe away from an irreversible loss.”
To answer this question, he pointed toward the $268 billion in natural disaster damages (less than half of which was covered by insurance) suffered by businesses worldwide in 2020. Because weather and climate affect the overwhelming majority of the world’s GDP, Jha said, “A lot of people are one natural catastrophe away from an irreversible loss.”
When most people think about weather data, they picture the weather app they use to see if they’ll need an umbrella that day. But, Jha said, in order to address the serious fallout from climate change, people need to be able to build actionable insights on top of clean, verified data.
“We want the data to be collected from a lot of different players and validated through Chainlink’s oracles with standardization and transparency, so users can shop for this data in a clean and simple way,” he said.
Climate data encomposes a vast spectrum of datasets assessing weather, crops, soil, carbon, etc. “Each is critical to understand what will happen next,” Jha said. “This is why climate data matters. And it needs to be clean and not subject to revisions and difficulty with access.”
As the leading decentralized oracle network, Chainlink provides essential on-chain data validation for dClimate. “We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and so it was important for us to work with a team like Chainlink to make sure that they form the base layer of the network. That way, we can focus on what we do best, which is operating in this climate ecosystem and building the actual network usage,” Jha said.
“Many people are in the dark about what climate holds for them.”
“Many people are in the dark about what climate holds for them,” he emphasized. The aim of dClimate is to build a more stable world by helping businesses, entities and individuals prepare for the unpredictable.
Large-scale, clean, validated data is the first step in building proactive solutions like parametric insurance, which helps reduce dependence on disaster aid and saves the enormous time and expense associated with settling traditional insurance claims.
“These kinds of programs are not feasible unless you have reliable, trustworthy data,” Jha said. With dClimate and Chainlink, we’re setting the foundation for a whole host of growing products that I think society will increasingly need as we try to tackle the climate risks that are growing everywhere.”
Watch Sid Jha’s full keynote at SmartCon #1.