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Can AI help fight climate change? 87% leaders believe so
More than 60% of leaders in the public and private sectors believe that monitoring and reducing emissions will have the biggest economic benefits for their companies.
Climate change will significantly impact environmental, social, political, and economic systems. According to a new report from AI for the Planet Alliance, BCG, and BCG GAMMA, there is a significant desire to use AI to combat climate change, but organizations must overcome challenges to have an impact at scale.
According to the report, 87% of the public- and private-sector leaders who oversee climate and AI topics believe that AI is a valuable asset in the fight against climate change.
About 40% of firms envision utilizing AI for their climate efforts, according to survey results from more than 1,000 executives with decision-making authority on AI or climate-change activities. Even among these experts, there is broad agreement that there are still significant barriers to widespread adoption: 78% of respondents cite a lack of AI expertise as a barrier to using AI in their climate change efforts, and 77% cite a lack of AI solutions as a barrier, and 67% mention a lack of trust in AI-related data and analysis.
“Beyond residences and offices using smart meters to monitor and control power usage, every sector, from manufacturing to real estate, can go green with AI. Integrating AI to track and reduce carbon footprint will enhance overall operations’ efficiency and reduce resource usage,” said Elias Baltassis, Partner & Director and BCG GAMMA Lead for the Middle East.
“The deployment of machine learning models focused on GHG emissions abatement optimization will accelerate initiatives for achieving net-zero emission targets across sectors,” Baltassis added.
More than 60% of leaders in the public and private sectors believe that monitoring and reducing emissions will have the biggest economic benefits for their companies. BCG estimates that adopting AI can result in a 5% to 10% decrease in GHG emissions or 2.6 to 5.3 gigatons of CO2.
“There is very significant potential in leveraging digital technologies to reduce emissions. The World Economic Forum estimates that 15% of global emissions can be reduced, and even up to 20% in high-emitting sectors. BCG’s own experience shows that using AI alone can deliver 5-10% of the required emission reduction—and save costs in the process. This is particularly important in the Middle East where countries have high technology aspirations and are rapidly accelerating climate commitments and actions,” said Simon Birkebaek, Middle East Climate & Sustainability Topic lead, partner, BCG.
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