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Public Policy

How governments can help deploy digital solutions for climate action

We believe that fighting climate change is an important collective challenge and for three decades, we have been using technology to accelerate meaningful action. While we recognize that digital technology alone will not solve the climate crisis, we can already see the tremendous potential that it holds to help accelerate action on sustainability and climate while simultaneously empowering economic growth.

We’re pleased to share that we are launching the Digital Sprinters sustainability report, led by Deloitte and commissioned by Google. The new report explores how digital solutions like AI can help us reduce global emissions to slow the pace of climate change and also help people adapt to a changing planet. The report examines a broad suite of digital technologies from Internet of things (IoT) and AI to Cloud platforms and remote satellite measurement. We explore how digital tools can speed decarbonization across a variety of high emitting sectors and enable climate-resilience, particularly in emerging and developing markets.

The report highlights key opportunities for digital technologies to reduce emissions by 2030 through measures like AI-driven grid optimization and route planning. It also looks at ways to advance adaptation and resilience through early warning systems and resilient infrastructure. With over 3.6 billion people living in areas highly susceptible to climate change impacts, efficient crisis response and resilient infrastructure become essential pillars of policymaking. Digital tools also enable precise climate impact forecasting through data collection and analysis, forming the basis for planning and response strategies. AI and IoT technologies enhance our knowledge base and improve decision-making, automation and innovation.

Public policy is instrumental to enabling the deployment of these solutions.

At Google, we have deployed the Digital Sprinters framework to help governments in emerging markets shape digital transformation policies by focusing on four strategic areas: Infrastructure, People, Enabling Policies, and Technology Innovation. This new report applies this lens to offer policy recommendations for accelerating action on climate change, including:

  • Infrastructure: policy measures that expand internet access and ensure data availability can help create the environment for digital solutions to reach people, while public support for deployment of satellites and IoT can enhance the data collection needed for effective climate solutions.
  • People: deepening digital education can help create a workforce well-versed in both climate science and digital technology.
  • Technological innovation: creating innovation hubs to incubate new ideas, supporting early-stage digital businesses, and adopting digital climate solutions in municipalities can help improve government initiatives.
  • Enabling policies: standards that establish frameworks for climate-related information — for example, how we label the environmental footprint of products — can help give consumers the information they need to make sustainable decisions. Digital tools can help implement sustainability regulations, support sustainable resource usage, and foster well functioning climate-related markets

As we look to the future, we’ve never been more excited about the potential that digital solutions have to help accelerate action on climate. You can read more in our latest report.

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