Human ingenuity combined with technology has solved many great challenges in the past. Climate change remains perhaps the greatest challenge still unsolved, but new efforts enabled by data-driven technologies like AI can become the game-changer in this space, although we must all do more, and faster.
Scaling private investments in climate innovations to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, the EU needs €180 billion in extra investment every year until 2030. And to carry out the European long-term vision of a climate-neutral economy by 2050, investments of €520 billion are needed every year.
To fill this gap, greater corporate involvement in the production, distribution and consumption of renewable energy is needed. Microsoft has already been funding renewable energy projects in Ireland and the Netherlands, but further legislative action would encourage even more investments. We also need to enable a full transformation of the energy sector, including new solutions for energy storage and smart grids distributing renewable energy where and when it is needed.
Data for tackling climate challenges: for more actionable climate intelligence, scientists need access to more and new environmental data sets for analysis. Our AI for Earth program is moving AI out of the lab and into the field, where it can be used by everyone and everywhere to accelerate research, innovation and solutions to our most urgent environmental challenges.
Our collective work can only be the beginning. The policy and investment decisions taken today will determine where the world will stand a decade from now.
More on Tech and Climate Change:
- Powering today’s connected world with tomorrow in mind
- Advancing ocean research through data and technology
- Helping companies buy clean to go green
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