Climate change is the single most pressing issue confronting our society and the planet.
SwissCognitive Guest Blogger: Leila Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative at NetHope – “AI Trajectory 2023+ – Digital For Climate Action [NEW REPORT]” Image credit: International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Over the last 50 years, the number of climate-related disasters has increased five-fold. A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred on average every single day over the past half century resulting in loss of life and damage to property, assets, and the environment. This is a global crisis that requires us to act fast, and work together.
According to the new Emissions Gap report, the world must cut emissions by 45% over the next 8 years to avoid global catastrophe. At the same time, we must adapt to the changing climate now in order to mitigate and reduce its devastating impacts.
Effective climate action requires a wide range of interventions, policies, financing, and tools. Digital technology, including AI, is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to support people and communities around the world in adapting to a climatically volatile world and to build long-term resilience.
In a new report, I write about the role that technology plays in climate adaptation efforts globally and describe 24 examples of programs, solutions and initiatives where technology plays an important role in eliminating guesswork that climate variability has introduced, delivering life-saving information, and supporting adoption of climate-smart practices.
For example: AI is already playing a vital role in a number of areas:
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- Forecasting of climatic shocks (e.g. floods, storms, droughts) before they happen and triggering interventions that prevent loss of life and damage to infrastructure, property, and the environment
- Supporting climate-smart agriculture by facilitating access to information and resources (e.g financing).
- Protection of forests through prediction of where deforestation might happen and triggering of interventions.
The report draws on the insights from the consultations with 38 organizations including global NGOs (e.g. WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Children, Mercy Corps) and technology companies (e.g. Cisco, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, etc.)
Download the report today and join us on December 13th at our upcoming AI Trajectory 2023+ event, to hear more from Leila Toplic, the report author and the Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative at NetHope – a consortium of 65 global NGOs collaborating with 70+ technology partners.