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To meet planetary targets, governments will need to better leverage data and AI

Woods and sea


With just a few weeks to go until Glasgow opens its doors to world leaders at COP26 – the 26th UN climate change conference – hopes are high for impactful commitments to be made. Innovation is an integral part of delivering on these commitments, and governments will need to better leverage data and AI to effectively reach our planetary goals.

There is significant opportunity in using AI to meet our planetary targets

At the intersection of the environmental sector and the AI movement, we believe there is significant opportunity to meaningfully move both fields forward with help of one another. The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has recently called for a “Moonshot” to make Scotland a leader in Climate Tech, and the recently released UK National AI Strategy sets out a 10-year plan to make Britain a “global AI superpower”. As the fastest growing deep technology in the world and a critical component of the fourth industrial revolution, AI offers a step change when it comes to developing climate- and environmental solutions. As a certain level of digital maturity is needed to leverage AI, there is a clear need for governments and businesses who still work with paper-based processes and siloed data and infrastructure solutions to prioritise the digital transformation needed to jump on the AI train.

What types if use cases are we talking about?

AI is a broad category that can be applied to a vast range of problems, for example monitoring, identification, modelling, prediction and optimisation. To illustrate the benefit and potential of AI in the environmental sector, let’s take a look at some interesting use cases:

The above use cases are only a few of many, and the positive impact AI can have on the environment is clear. In fact, a review of AI’s impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) showed that up to 93% of the environmental targets could be positively impacted by AI. When talking about technological advancements, however, it is important to acknowledge the risks too, as the same study found AI could negatively impact up to 30% of the environmental SDG targets. This largely stems from the risks of high energy consumption and lagging AI legislation. Both are aspects we need to keep in mind when driving change.

Delivering innovative, digital solutions for public good

Delivering on the promises of AI to meet planetary targets will require designing desirable, feasible and viable propositions that leverage existing as well as new data sources. Storm ID has spent the past two decades helping public and private sector clients go through much needed digital transformations, making innovation possible. Lenus Health – a business developed by Storm, connects patient-generated data from e.g. wearables with pioneering AI, unlocking unprecedented insight, innovation and care transformation.

Lenus Health has rolled out across several health boards in Scotland, is clinically proven to improve patient health outcomes, and is now in the midst of national and international expansion. Fundamental to its success, is the interoperability of the platform, the user-centric design and the enabling of preventative care. To drive public good, Lenus Health is built with open APIs to invite the healthcare sector and 3rd party developers to leverage the platform for further innovation.

This way of working – pushing the boundaries of technology and making it accessible for collaboration – is what we need in the environmental sector too. In order to hear more about Lenus Health’s learnings applicable to the climate sector, sign up to the free one day conference Scotland’s contribution to COP26 held on the 26th of October where co-founder Paul McGinness joins in to share his views.



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