Artificial intelligence is used in almost all segments today – Fashion, Business, Sports, Manufacturing, Defence, Medicine and more. But, can they bring solutions to all the earth’s problems? Can AI frame policies to fight climate change? 

The answer might be an artificially intelligent robot that can help nations to effectively derive a data-based policy framework. AI is a powerful tool that can address the challenges posed by climate change.  

Rohit Kochar, Founder, Executive Chairman & CEO, Bert Labs, a company that works in business’ green transformation said, “AI models which we are building can directly lead to a reduction in CO2 emission in the atmosphere. It is obviously contributing directly to cleaning up of the environment and therefore helping in a positive way towards climate change. So that gives will give us a lot of insight in drafting the policies.” 

A study by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) states that there are four key roles- Big and raw data analysis, Prediction and forecasting, Advanced scientific modelling & simulations and simplifying complex systems- to support the climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.  

Also read: As AI rises, lawmakers try to catch up

Prateep Basu, Co-Founder and CEO of Satusure, a data analytics company said, “Climate change is irreversible. What we could only do is use data for adapting to climate. It starts at a policy level and is enforced through different organisations and individual behavioural changes. You need data on both climate observations as well as the impact of climate observations.” 

He added that data analytics on climate change can help authorities predict calamities as well as plan mitigation measures. 

Senior Research Scientist at CTrees, Sassan Saatchi, said that AI help to make the best climate mitigation policies with high-quality data and open-source technology. He added, “Every country has a unique way of looking at the problem, but the data-based policy making is a universal solution for it.” 

Carbon emission by AI bots

Talking about the carbon footprint that the satellites and robots emit, Saatchi said that the AI emissions are lower compared to other ways of climate change mitigation and that the AI computations are slowly becoming energy efficient. 

International body, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also it aims to work with a multidisciplinary and multistakeholder group of AI and climate leaders to drive concrete and measurable action. 

Green transformation with AI aid

However, incorporating AI in climate policy making and climate-sensitive adaptations is not that easy.  

Basu said, “I do see while there is a lot of commitments that our government is making internationally about the green transition, but that is limited to certain sectors like energy. We definitely need to continue building on better AI and faster methods of computation to reduce energy demand. I would say push from governments to incentivize the large capex is required.” 

According to a 2022 BCG Climate AI Survey report, 87 per cent of private and public sector CEOs with decision-making power in AI and climate believe AI is an essential tool in the fight against climate change. Yet, only 43 per cent of them have a vision for how to use it. 

In this area, Kochar classifies his clients into three buckets – those who are transforming into sustainable businesses, those who are learning about AI-based transformations and those who are still out of knowledge about green transformation. He said that when companies realise that turning greener will reduce their energy cost, it will inspire them to adopt. 

Climate change

Thunderstorms, torrential rains, landslides, floods, cold waves, heat waves, cyclones, droughts, dust storms, hail or snowstorms: India experienced at least one of them every day in the first nine months of 2022, according to the New Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment (CSE). 

These climate extremes claimed 2,755 lives, affected 1.8 million hectares (ha) of crop area, 416,667 houses and killed over 69,007 animals, states the report. 

These data will carry a lot of weight, even if India hasn’t submitted its Long-Term Low Emissions Growth Strategy for low carbon transition pathways nor took charge as the president of G20. 

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “A perception about climate change has been built as if it is only a subject of government policy, but goes beyond policy making.”  

Experts want nations to capture and assess their progress toward enhancing resilience and make more detailed and ambitious commitments in their national climate plans.