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87% of Climate and AI Leaders Believe AI Is Critical in the Fight Against Climate Change – report

New Report from AI for the Planet Alliance, BCG, and BCG GAMMA Reveals a Strong Appetite for Using AI to Tackle Climate Change, but Organizations Face Obstacles to Achieving Impact at Scale

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BCG report on Climate Change

Climate change will have significant impacts on environmental, social, political, and economic systems around the world if critical measures are not adopted to reserve the trends.

No doubt, climate change mitigation, along with adaptation and resilience, is crucial. Efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 will be essential, as will efforts to prepare for the consequences of climate change and to minimize the resulting harm.

Applying advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to climate challenges provides a vital way to make meaningful change at this critical moment.

According to a new report from the AI for the Planet Alliance, produced in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and BCG GAMMA, 87% of public- and private-sector leaders who oversee climate and AI topics believe that AI is a valuable asset in the fight against climate change.

BCG report on Climate Change

The report, titled How AI Can Be a Powerful Tool in the Fight Against Climate Change, is being released today.

Based on survey results from over 1,000 executives with decision-making authority on AI or climate-change initiatives, the report finds that roughly 40% of organizations can envision using AI for their own climate efforts.

BCG report on Climate Change
The warning signs that climate change is here.

However, even among these experts, there is widespread agreement that significant barriers to broad adoption remain in place: 78% of respondents cite insufficient AI expertise as an obstacle to using AI in their climate change efforts, 77% cite limited availability of AI solutions as a roadblock, and 67% point to a lack of confidence in AI-related data and analysis.

BCG report

“AI’s unique capacity to gather, complete, and interpret large, complex data sets means it can help stakeholders take a more informed and data-driven approach to combating carbon emissions and addressing climate risks,” said Hamid Maher, managing director and partner at BCG and BCG GAMMA, and a coauthor of the report. “However, most existing AI-related climate solutions are scattered, tend to be difficult to access, and lack the resources to scale. These shortcomings need to change.”

BCG report on Climate Change

Uses of AI in Combating Climate Change

Global leaders can use AI to achieve their goals in multiple ways:

  • Mitigation. One of the most critical uses of AI is in the measurement, reduction, and removal of emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG) effects. More than 60% of public- and private-sector leaders see the greatest business value for their organizations in the reduction and measurement of emissions. According to BCG, use of AI can drive reductions of 5% to 10% GHG emissions, or 2.6 to 5.3 gigatons of CO2e if applied globally.
BCG report on Climate Change
  • Adaptation and Resilience. Adapting to climate change is a critical undertaking for policy makers and the public, as it boosts resilience to the effects of both long-term climate trends and extreme weather events. AI is well suited to help project climate-related hazards, whether by improving long-term projections of localized events such as sea-level rise or by upgrading early warning systems for extreme phenomena such as hurricanes or droughts.
BCG report on Climate Change
  • Fundamentals. AI can be used to support research and education efforts about climate change, helping stakeholders understand the risks and implications involved and encouraging them to share what they learn. These efforts support and magnify ongoing work toward mitigation and adaptation and resilience.
BCG report on Climate Change

Call for Solutions – Need for Meaningful Support

A multitude of critical uses for AI exist in the climate change arena, but any successful AI solution must be user-friendly and readily accessible.

It must offer tangible benefits to the user and provide clear recommendations that are easy to act on. AI solutions therefore need much more meaningful support, including access to capital investment, decision makers, and trained practitioners.

BCG Report

“AI has strong promise to help solve the climate crisis, but AI alone is not enough. It depends on the will of decision makers to act and make necessary changes—supported in part by AI and other emerging technologies,” said Damien Gromier, founder of AI for the Planet and a coauthor of the report.

AI for the Planet has invited all interested parties to participate in its call for solutions, with proposals in any stage of maturity (if ready for a first pilot, at a minimum) and from any sector, whether private, public, academic, or nonprofit. Support for each solution chosen will be tailored to its needs and may range from customized commercial or technical support to investor relationships and network development.

How to apply:

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To learn more about the call for solutions or to apply, see here.

Justice Okamgba functions as CONTENT STRATEGIST for TechEconomy.ng with penchant for content planning, development, analysis, management, and measurement. Contact: [email protected]

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