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Myth: AI will save us from climate change

07 July 2021| doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5045468

AI provides powerful tools to tackle climate change in various applications – but it is not a silver bullet. It can support the mitigation of climate change, for instance, by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions within various applications. It can support adapting to a changing climate. AI can even support climate science itself. However, it can also be used to harm the climate. To avoid that, AI applications should be developed in collaboration and ongoing exchange with the communities that will use or are otherwise affected by the technology to avoid unforeseen impacts and drawbacks.


AI will save us from climate change.

AI alone will not save us from climate change! If applied in the wrong areas, it can even harm the climate. However, AI provides powerful tools to address climate change in various applications.

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Climate Change AI
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About the authors

Raphaela Kotsch 

Raphaela is a PhD student in Political Economy and Development at the University of Zurich and holds an M.Sc in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics. She works at the intersection of climate policy, environmental economics and machine learning. As part of her fellowship with the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH), she works on leveraging AI methods to increase trust and transparency in carbon markets. As the community lead for economics and markets at ClimateChangeAI, she bridges between economics, the computational and climate social sciences.


Marcus Voß 

Marcus is a PhD student at TU Berlin, where he heads the research group Smart Energy Systems at the DAI-Lab. There he has worked on several research projects investigating how digitalization and AI can support the energy transition. In the project “SustAIn: Sustainability Index for Artificial Intelligence”, he studies how AI-systems can be implemented more sustainably. He received his M.Sc. degree from the Humboldt University of Berlin. At ClimateChangeAI, he provides content and resources to enable people who want to start researching, teaching, and working on the intersection of AI and climate change.


Why, AI?

This post is part of our project “Why, AI?”. It is a learning space which helps you to find out more about the myths and truths surrounding automation, algorithms, society and ourselves. It is continuously being filled with new contributions.

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This post represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of the institute itself. For more information about the topics of these articles and associated research projects, please contact

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