An authenticated and secure accounting system for international emissions trading

Chenxing Li, Yang Yu, Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Da Zhang, Xiliang Zhang

Expanding multi-country emissions trading system is considered as crucial to fill the existing mitigation gap for the 2\degree C climate target. Trustworthy emissions accounting is the cornerstone of such a system encompassing different jurisdictions. However, traditional emissions measuring, reporting, and verification practices that support data authenticity might not be applicable as detailed data from large utilities and production facilities to be covered in the multi-country emissions trading system are usually highly sensitive and of severe national security concern. In this study, we propose a cryptographic framework for an authenticated and secure emissions accounting system that can resolve this data dilemma. We demonstrate that integrating a sequence of cryptographic protocols can preserve data authenticity and security for a stylized multi-country emissions trading system. We call for more research to promote applications of modern cryptography in future international climate governance to build trust and strengthen collaboration.

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