Cryptocurrencies: Carbon Emissions

Treasury written question – answered on 22nd June 2022.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the carbon footprint of the operation of cyber currencies.

Photo of Baroness Penn Baroness Penn Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The government is committed to positioning the UK at the forefront of green finance and recognises the issue of rising energy consumption from certain cryptoassets.

The government’s consultation later this year on regulating a wider set of cryptoasset activities will reflect green commitments and ensure that the approach is aligned to environmental objectives including the UK’s net zero target.

In this context, the government notes that some cryptoassets may be based on ‘proof of stake’ blockchain systems and may not face energy-consumption issues which typically relate to the ‘mining’ or proof-of-work process underpinning certain cryptoassets.

The government welcomes the efforts of some cryptoassets to move to more energy efficient ‘proof of stake’ processes. The government takes concerns about the environmental impacts of cryptoassets seriously and is closely monitoring developments within the cryptoasset industry, including rising energy usage associated with certain cryptoassets.

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