UK Royal Society report addresses the correlation between digital technology and climate change

The Royal Society has published a report titled ‘Digital technology and the planet’, where it addressed the correlation between digital technology and climate change. The study finds that digital technologies contribute between 1.4% and 5.9% to global CO2 emissions. Despite its negative role, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twins can also make a positive contribution. For instance, it underlines that digital twins can help increase wind farms’ annual output by up to 20% while AI could help reduce greenhouse gas emission by 4% by 2030. 

The study also highlights the positive role of Internet and video conferencing services as well as data tools that allow for real-time monitoring of traffic and weather. Among other things, the research recommends that net zero transition should be led by data, the tech sector should lead by example and provide necessary data to enable the monitoring of energy consumption and carbon emissions and regulators should develop guidelines on the energy proportionality of digital applications.