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August 3, 2017

The Tech That’s Fighting Climate Change

Written By Nikki McCaig

In June 2017, America withdrew support for the Paris Climate Change Agreement; a global plan to reduce carbon emissions, limit global warming, and re-shape the environmental landscape of the various countries agreed. In the backlash that followed, there has been a renewed attention to climate change, with more and more questions being asked as to what various industries can contribute to the fight.

What is the tech industry doing to help?

In a series of innovative moves, both large-scale and small, the tech industry is currently working on a huge variety of eco-friendly inventions and investments to help fight climate change in 2017.

From the big name brands like Apple and Google, to individual independents and start ups, working to reduce waste, global warming and harmful toxins in the environment is a priority for so many tech companies around the world.

The Big Changes

One of the biggest developments in planet-saving technology is nuclear-fusion-energy, as pushed for by energy company ‘General Fusion’. Designed to create carbon-emission free electricity supplies, this project is still in early development stages, but when released for public consumption, is set to be a game-changer for both domestic and industrial power suppliers.

With the food and agriculture sector creating almost one third of greenhouse gas emissions, another eco-centric push is being made for alternative sources of meat and produce, using nothing but science and technology. Laboratory-grown and technologically advanced meat supplies are a growing segment of the food sector, with exo-protein, Memphis Meats and Impossible Foods captaining the transition.

GeoEngineering is another environmentally-driven, if risky, movement towards solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal, led by technical innovations in geology and eco-science. Considered the largest intervention in the Earth’s climate, GeoEngineering uses techniques of afforestation and the SPICE project to help re-pollinate barren areas of earth, and restore atmospheric balance to the planet.

The Small Changes

The field of small-scale personal tech is also working towards a greener future, through the development of environmentally conscious apps, sites, devices and home appliances. From the most seemingly insignificant ‘eco-friendly’ settings on a washing machine, to an entire roof of solar panels, the changes in domestic tech really are contributing to the large-scale fight against climate change.

The Ecosia project, funded and created as an accompaniment to Google, is one of the most significant small technological developments seen in recent years. A search engine extension that converts user searches into trees to be planted in areas of harsh deforestation, the number of conversions from query to tree is currently over 11 million, and rising every second.

Apps, such as Joulebug, Hive Active and FuelGood, are also being developed to help the individual monitor their carbon footprint from their personal device – whilst their hosts Apple and Google are creating eco-friendly data centres from which to share them from.

The tech industry is contributing to the fight against climate change in high impact and low-level ways, helping more and more sectors and businesses protect the declining environment and re-shape the new one.

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