Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and our societies need to adapt urgently. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the main tools for powerful social change. Still, little effort has so far been made to combine the two or understand the impact AI can have on combating carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate climate change.
That is why AI Sweden, RISE and Stockholm Resilience Center have produced the report “AI in the service of the climate”. The report will serve as a catalyst for authorities, companies and other stakeholders who are interested in further developing the potential of AI technologies to address the climate challenge. The report, which was funded by Vinnova, introduces a number of AI solutions ranging from climate research and monitoring, to initiatives for emission reductions, climate adaptation, and innovation and transformation. Moreover, Sweden could take the lead internationally.
Although there are ongoing discussions around the world about how to use AI in combating climate change, there is currently no official initiative combining the two. It has therefore become evident that Sweden has great potential to take a lead on this also internationally, says Erik Wilson, project manager at AI Sweden.
Sweden needs to invest in existing structures to allow AI, climate and sustainability expertise to collaborate and drive innovation. The biggest obstacle to applying AI to the climate challenge in Sweden today is that there is no bridge between AI and climate expertise, as well as a lack of financial resources and collaborative platforms.
"AI has the potential to strengthen both Sweden's competitiveness and our welfare, and it is clear that also our climate has much to gain from powerful AI solutions. The work in AI and climate needs to benefit from the AI work that is done in other sectors. There is enormous potential in collaborating and driving innovation and applied AI across sectors. This will be particularly relevant for addressing climate change as it spans all sectors of society", Daniel Gillblad, Co-Director at AI Sweden explains.
As a first step, and a follow-up to one of the conclusions in the report, where it is stated that Sweden needs to clearly commit to a venture that builds on existing investments and expertise, and supports collaboration and innovation among specialists in AI, climate and sustainability. AI Sweden, together with RISE and SRC are now investigating how such an arena can be initiated. The end-goal of such an arena would be to accelerate new Swedish climate challenge innovations leveraging AI, and essentially enable our country to reach climate neutrality much quicker than by 2050.
If you would like to be part of such an arena, working to use AI to address the climate challenge, reach out to our project manager, Erik Wilson, at AI Sweden.