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13 Climate Action 13. Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Opportunities & Challenges Technology in action
Climate Action

Goal 13 aims to limit global temperature increase to well below 2°C, and ideally below 1.5°C. The targets for Goal 13 include the integration of climate change measures into national policies, strengthening adaptive capacity to climaterelated hazards and disasters and mobilizing financial support for developing nations for mitigation and adaptation. Climate change affects every country in the world, and people are already experiencing changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events. Climate change disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable populations, and could increase extreme poverty rates by 2030. The impacts of climate change pose significant risks for agriculture, water supplies, health, energy, security and infrastructure. According to the UN, more than 1.6 million people died due to natural disasters between 2000 and 2015. The world experienced continued warming in 2016, with temperatures 1.1°C above the pre-industrial average. Without action, temperatures are projected to increase more than 3°C this century. To remain below 2°C, per capita emissions in the developed world will need to be halved by 2030 (8 to 4.2 gigatons of CO2e).

44%Estimated reduction in fuel consumption using autonomous vehicles by 2050
+3°CProjected temperature increase this century without action
24%China’s anticipated smart grid market share by 2020
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Opportunities & Challenges

Political engagement, collaboration and mobilization of financial resources across national boundaries will be critical to delivering on this global challenge.

Access to finance & technical support: Developing countries need capital, skilled workers and blueprints for clean infrastructure in order to implement their national adaptation plans. Improved data tracking pilot project results and return on investment can guide and support new investment where it is needed most.

Aligning incentives to decarbonize: Companies and governments alike will need to rapidly decarbonize processes and supply chains through energy efficiency, renewable energy and low- and zero-carbon products and services. New business models can help decentralize access to clean energy, while information sharing, greater efficiency, collaboration and affordability should improve adoption and spread of low- to zero-carbon solutions.

Disaster risk planning and management: The devastation wreaked by disasters is widely due to an inability to anticipate and respond to impending risks.

Tracking and monitoring illegal activities: Illegal activities like logging contribute to deforestation and climate change.

Technology in action

Digital technology will play a key role in addressing these challenges:

Efficient technologies and systems: A proliferation of connected systems and sensors can enable significantly more efficient and decentralized use of resources, including energy. Major technology companies from Google to Cisco and Hitachi are embedding sensors and using cloud-based software to track and optimize systems from buildings to transport. Sense uses connected sensors to gauge the electricity usage of appliances, devices and rooms. Utilities use data from sophisticated connected devices, such as smart meters and smart thermostats, to operate the grid more efficiently and help customers reduce consumption. Technology will also play a key role in reducing the carbon footprint of transportation (currently 23% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and growing). By 2050, the Energy Information Administration estimates that connected, autonomous vehicles could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 44% for passenger vehicles and 18% for trucks.

Renewable energy: Digital technology supports the further advancement of renewable energy. Demand-side management systems, software and sensors support distributed solar and wind energy systems. Automation and digitization have also made management systems more efficient, contributing to cost reductions in renewable energy.

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