Climate change is one of the most significant issues we face globally. With the formulation of the global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion in 2018, addressing our carbon footprint has become a critical socio-political point.
While many are trying to reduce their carbon footprint through recycling, reducing emissions, or adopting a vegan diet to reduce the impact of factory farming, others are using technology to address climate change.
Technology innovation has allowed us to create new avenues of production, interaction and creation while minimising our impact on greenhouse gases. In the light of Earth Day, we thought it would be helpful to review some of the ways technology is helping to create a greener future for all.
How is AI Helping Climate Change?
New advancement in AI and Smart tech is helping to improve building energy efficiencies. The best example is what’s known as Smart Homes. Smart home devices are programmable devices that can help you save energy in your home. Almost all smart devices, such as thermostats and appliances, are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-connected to the Internet. As a result, they can be controlled using a smartphone or other mobile device. When you’re at work or on holiday and forget to switch off the lights, the remote control comes in handy. This ability to control your energy usage remotely and effortlessly can make a significant difference in the environment. A particular study in California revealed that a smart thermostat saved 11.3% of AC-related energy usage per day.
How is Blockchain Impacting Climate Change?
While major oil and gas companies have announced emissions-reduction plans, we know little about how they intend to achieve their specified objectives; this is where one of the fastest-growing tech sectors, Blockchain, may be the solution. Companies must have the ability to collect and monitor credible and trusted data correctly and repeatedly to reduce the carbon footprint of the oil and gas supply chain. Legacy industries must demonstrate their ability to make progress on pollution targets as efforts and incentives shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean, green, and renewable energy sources.
Blockchain will empower businesses to pioneer new ways to boost ecological enforcement benefits through the industry’s supply chain and allow them to keep a record of immutable truth through real-world actions by multiple players. As Houston, a city steeped in traditional oil and gas culture strives to live up to its new name, “the energy transformation capital of the world,” efforts to track and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint are already in the works.
Creating a more efficient supply chain can have a considerable impact on the volume of greenhouse gasses produced by factories, vehicles and more! In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, Blockchain may also provide more transparency. Furthermore, it can simplify the monitoring and reporting of emission reductions.
To see how Blockchain is also going to revolutionise the future have a read of our other blog: Blockchain Will Change the World.
How Can IoT Reduce Our Carbon Footprint?
The Internet of Things or (IoT) is yet another emerging technology that can positively impact reducing climate change. Industrial IoT, in particular, has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of operations significantly. The Industrial Internet of Things refers to interconnected sensors, instruments, and other devices connected via networks with industrial applications on computers, such as manufacturing and energy management. Industrial IoT is then used to conserve natural resources such as raw materials, energy, fossil fuels, and water. The technology will also help minimise production waste and play a vital role in the emerging circular economy’s material flow monitoring.
This is one emerging tech that is also receiving wider attention within the UK as Susanne Baker, associate director of climate, environment and sustainability, at techUK, says: “IoT is increasingly recognised as an essential element in our transition to a net-zero economy.” In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, when paired with other digital applications such as 5G and artificial intelligence (AI), IoT could help reduce carbon emissions by 15%.
A Cleaner Future Is Possible
These are just a few ways in which technology can reduce our carbon footprint. However, in addition to these emerging technologies changing and improving the way we interact with the environment, we must also continue to minimise our non-renewable energy, reduce our CO2 emissions and stop using non-biodegradable products such as plastic. We still have a chance to change our future for the better. We have to ensure we maintain our goal for a cleaner tomorrow.