Solar panels

Can technology help reduce climate change?

Matt Tubbs

13 Nov 2018

Tech is irrevocably woven into daily existence for most of us these days. Let’s be honest, your phone is probably the first thing you reach for in the morning.

On the commute you might listen to a podcast or look at an e-reader. That’s before you even get to the office and switch on your laptop.

It’s all brilliant, clever stuff, and we don’t even see all the other technology that enables it.

For example, think of everything that was involved in delivering that last Amazon parcel you ordered. The app on your phone, the payments software, the supply chain tech, right through to the sat nav that takes the driver to your door.

Lots of ingenious ways to improve efficiency and deliver exciting experiences at every stage.

Confronting the biggest of issues

While the latest gadgets and services can keep us as consumers interested, recent headlines suggest that technology needs to be able to deliver on a truly grand scale.

The IPCC report issued last month made grim reading about the prospect of a 1.5C rise in temperatures around the world. I’ve already mentioned daily existence in this post – and the IPCC report made it clear that this will be very much impacted by climate change.

The reaction to the report has been huge, with coverage in outlets across the world. This is not surprising, given the issues laid out in the report, and the increased public interest in such matters following campaigns around plastics in the ocean.

While the report makes the case for swinging changes at a societal level to stave off the impact of climate change, it wasn’t just policymakers who were singled out as a group that can have a positive impact on this problem. The role of technology in helping to reduce the impact of climate change was also flagged as crucial.

Technology as a saviour?

There’s no doubt that in recent years a huge emphasis has been placed on the development of technologies that reduce our impact on the environment.

Countries are focussing on electric vehicles and schemes to utilise renewable energy, while interest in carbon capture technology is growing quickly. But the report rightly calls for more focus on technology as a solution to this issue.

As with all new technologies, some of these may be hits, and others may be misses. And let’s be realistic here – governments and politicians have a huge role in making sure that we dodge this particular bullet.

But one thing is certain – the tech industry is made up of ambitious, intelligent problem solvers. They just need to fix their attention on this issue to deliver solutions. No pressure!

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