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Digital Technologies and the Planet: Towards Net Zero

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This Royal Society meeting will explore how digital technologies – from AI to computer hardware - could help reduce carbon emissions.

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This Digital Technologies and the Planet: Towards Net Zero conference will explore how digital technologies, from AI to computer hardware, could help reduce carbon emissions.

Human activity has increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration by more than 40% since pre-industrial times. This, and increases in other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide, has led to a global average temperature rise of 1°C above pre-industrial levels. If emissions continue to increase at their present rate, temperatures could rise by more than 4°C by 2100. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be feasible. To achieve a 1.5°C target, the net emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases, principally CO2, would have to reach ‘net zero’ level by around 2050. In the next decade urgent, ambitious and concerted action is required across all countries and sectors to deliver rapid emissions reductions. Rapid and unprecedented changes in energy, land use, urban development, transport, infrastructure and industrial systems are needed, with implications for how individuals live and work.

Digital technologies could support this transformation. These technologies have already reshaped many daily activities – from online retail to on-demand transport services – with individuals using data-enabled systems to bring physical activities into the digital realm, reducing carbon emissions in the process. As technologies develop and systems for data use evolve, there will be further opportunities to find new ways of carrying out everyday tasks, with digital technologies bolstering a low-carbon revolution.

This scientific meeting is part of the Royal Society’s Transforming our Future conference series. The Transforming our Future meetings are unique, high-level events that address the scientific and technical challenges of the next decade. Each conference features cutting edge science from industry and academia and brings together leading experts from the scientific community, including regulatory, charity and funding bodies.

Please direct any questions to the Industry team on industry@royalsociety.org.

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