BLOG: The role of digital technology in climate change

Updated: Apr 13

The final part of the IPCC Assessment Report 6 was published on 9 April, and it sends a clear message: we all have a part to play in cutting carbon emissions and keeping global temperature increases within 1.5 degrees celsius. Climate action isn’t limited to planting trees, recycling, or policy anymore. It’s about rapid, far-reaching changes in the way all parts of society operate - exactly the kind of thing digital technology excels at.


In fact, digital technology was highlighted in the IPCC report as a sector with immense potential to support efforts to reduce carbon emissions.


“Digital technologies can markedly increase the energy efficiency of mobility and residential and public buildings, especially in the context of systems integration”


Smart technologies, AI, and the Internet of Things can help us use energy and natural resources more efficiently. They can help us monitor air quality, facilitate transport sharing, and manage our energy use in our businesses and homes. In industrial settings, the report estimates that IoT could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.3 gigatonnes. That’s over twice the emissions of the UK in 2019!


Research on the climate impacts of corporate AI solutions also has promising results. Boston Consulting Group estimates that implementing AI in companies could save between 2.6-5.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, while CapGemini reports that AI-enabled companies have cut greenhouse gas emissions by 13%, and improved energy efficiency by 11%.




Digital technology’s connectivity can also facilitate the close international cooperation that global climate action needs. From countries sharing insights about climate policy implementation to helping farmers in rural areas access the latest developments in sustainable agriculture practices, rapid knowledge sharing made possible by digitisation could accelerate the rollout of climate change solutions.


Auris is an example of how digitisation can be beneficial to the environment. The paper industry is a significant driver of deforestation, and 26% of paper is used for printing and writing. Our technology allows digital, voice-enabled libraries to replace traditional printed books, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of the publishing industry. This is particularly important for schools, who will no longer need to purchase multiple copies of the same books.


We also build English literacy, and are geared up for international expansion into countries that don’t have English as a first language. English has firmly established itself as a global language: three quarters of the world’s research is published in English, international governments like the UN use English as a common language, and it is the most commonly-used language on the Internet. By contributing to English literacy and language learning globally, Auris can empower more people, especially those most impacted by climate change, to join the global conversation, access knowledge about sustainable innovations, and introduce their own novel methods of coping with climate change.


Author: Emerline Su

Executive Research Assistant, Auris Tech


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