Capgemini Invent

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The heat is on to turn down climate change – AI can help

by Susan Maginn

26 November 2020 9:12am

Capgemini Research: Artificial Intelligence set to help organizations cut greenhouse gas emissions by 16% in the next 3-5 years

Climate AI: How artificial intelligence can power your climate action strategy

In the past twenty years, there were 7,348 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people and resulting in approximately USD 2.97 trillion in global economic losses. The cost to human life and health, to governments and economies, and to industry has been staggering, and things are not getting any better – 2019 saw the highest CO2 emissions in human history. Large manufacturing organizations, which contribute to roughly 50% of the world’s total GHG emissions, have a responsibility to act. We wanted to understand whether AI could help.

In the latest report from the Capgemini Research Institute – Climate AI: How artificial intelligence can power your climate action strategy – we surveyed 800 industry executives and 300 AI and climate change experts, and we interviewed over 40 industry executives and experts. We found that, in the past two years, AI-enabled use cases have already helped organizations reduce GHG emissions by 13% and improve power efficiency by 11%. Using the expertise of our startup partner "right", based on science, we estimate that, by 2030, AI-enabled use cases have the potential to help organizations fulfill 11–45% of the “Economic Emission Intensity” targets of the Paris Agreement, depending on the scale of AI adoption across sectors.

For instance, for the automotive sector, AI-enabled use cases have the potential to deliver 8 percentage points of the 37% reduction (more than one-fifth) required by 2030, as per the Paris Agreement goals. However, despite the many use cases for climate action offers, scaling deployment is proving difficult – only 3% have been fully scaled. Moreover, although 67% of organizations have made climate action a strategic priority, only 13% are successfully combining their climate vision with AI capabilities and have driven solutions to scale. We call this group ‘Climate AI Champions”.

“Addressing climate change is everyone’s responsibility and AI has the potential to make a significant impact, yet only a fraction of organizations are actively using this technology to its full potential”

~Anne Laure Thieullent, Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics Group Leader at Capgemini

We believe that in order to leverage AI’s full climate action potential, organizations must:

  • Combat the negative impact of AI on the climate.
  • Educate their employees on the criticality of climate change and explain how AI can make a real difference.
  • Establish technological foundations for AI-powered climate change action.
  • Scale specific use cases.
  • Collaborate with the climate change ecosystem.
  • Harness AI to bring greater focus in reducing scope 3 emissions.

The heat is on to tackle climate change and organizations across sectors need to take urgent actions to reduce emissions. If deployed efficiently, AI can help. For further information and the recommendations based on the research, access the full report here and join the Webinar Dec 2, 2020, 2:30 PM CET.


Artificial Intelligence