Now that the climate crisis has received the international attention it requires, focus has turned to trying to find a solution to the factors which contribute to the heating and changing of the world. So, could there be a saviour in technology?
Connected to the climate
The Internet of Things (IoT) could be one way to ease the harm caused to the planet. In fact, experts predict that there could be a three per cent reduction in carbon emissions if we use the IoT to increase efficiency and eliminate our reliance on disposable materials. This begins with improved carbon monitoring; currently only an estimated 15 per cent of emissions are priced and taxed, but with new devices which measure environmental impacts – such as air quality – we can expect consistent and real-time monitoring of potential pollution, helping governments to enforce environmental standards.
In fact, monitoring has a further part to play in our cities and our homes. By 2050, nearly 70 per cent of people will live within a city – many of which will be smart cities. These connected cities provide us with a granular insight into energy usage and waste and so local governments can react accordingly. In the home, IoT-connected devices can be turned on and off remotely, reducing waste and increasing efficiency.
Reduce, renew and rethink
Our modern reliance on fossil fuels and fracking has led to devastating effects for the environment. Enter technology to provide safe, efficient and commercially viable forms of renewable energy. Organisations such as General Fusion are working on producing secure nuclear energy which creates as little radioactive waste as possible, while SEaB energy utilises agricultural and other waste to yield energy.
There are also tech businesses focusing on helping others to reduce their energy usage. Northern Gas and Power uses pioneering technology to help organisations eliminate energy waste and is predicted to grow its revenue by 50 per cent this year as a result, making it one of the fasting growing companies in the North East.
Of course, switching to new forms of power isn’t just a concern for the national grid, individuals also need to think about cleaner forms of energy. Tech enables all of this, from changing to electric cars to working remotely to avoid commuting altogether. The way we have become accustomed to living is having a negative effect on the environment, so all the everyday actions that might have an impact need to be rethought. Tech not only allows us to examine these actions, and ask if there could be a better way, it may well hold the answers to the change we, and the planet, need.