The government has been urged to establish a UK-based International Centre for AI, Energy and Climate and embrace technology to tackle climate change.
On 16 June, Current News reported that a group of businesses, tech companies and universities had written to the Prime Minister, highlighting the ability of technology to facilitate net zero in the UK, while stressing the opportunity the UK has to also become a world leader in AI. According to the group, which includes Energy UK, the Solar Trade Association and Energy Systems Catapult, AI could reduce global emissions by 4% by 2030 and boost global GDP by 4.4%.
The establishment of a Centre for AI, Energy and Climate would enable the UK to develop and deploy data science applications to tackle climate change, while systematically improving the efficiency of energy systems worldwide. The group called for an initial £100mn funding package, warning the UK otherwise risks falling behind with the application of AI. Elsewhere, the letter called for enhanced energy data collection and for there to be an emerging tech pavilion at COP26 in 2021, showcasing the UK’s leadership on emerging technology for climate change.
Charles Wood, Head of New Energy Services and Heat at Energy UK, said that if AI is enacted, it could potentially play a pivotal role in a low carbon transition. Wood added: “The UK has the potential to become a global leader in AI and data by capitalising on the existing capabilities of the UK technology and energy sector. This will help us meet our net zero target and drive innovative business models in the energy sector.”