Five Takeaways from the London Climate Technology Show 2023
Global warming is the greatest challenge of our time – and the tech world is rising to meet it. We headed to this year’s London Climate Technology Show to check out how cleantech innovators, leading policy makers and global brands are working to reduce emissions and drive the transition to a net zero economy.
It’s estimated that $125 trillion of climate investment is needed in order to reach the global goal of reaching net zero by 2050. While often these discussions focus on clean energy sources, electric vehicles and carbon capture, there is a whole range of solutions that businesses and consumers can harness to cut their carbon. This year’s London Climate Technology Show gave a platform to the full spectrum of innovations that aim to tackle the climate crisis.
Here are our key takeaways from the event:
AI can be at the core of the green revolution
As with many other industries, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a major role to play in tackling climate change. With an issue as complex and multi-faceted as global warming, solutions may not always be obvious – but answers can be found in the analysis of large sets of data. AI can do much of the heavy lifting needed to glean the important insights within that data.
It can also be used to optimise and streamline processes, such as being harnessed to spot inefficiencies within energy usage so waste can be reduced. John Abel, Technical Director, Office of the CTO at Google Cloud explained that AI can even be used to spot inefficiencies in its own processes, cutting down the computing power needed to process requests.
Similarly, AI holds the key to unlocking the complexity of the carbon markets. As more carbon emissions become priced, these markets are becoming increasingly hard to navigate – AI can simplify these, helping companies to find the true price of their carbon while driving down emissions.
Bringing together the power of technology and nature will be the key to tackling climate change
Sometimes the best solutions can be found in nature itself. An impressive number of innovations on display at the London Climate Technology Show combined cutting edge tech with solutions found in nature.
For example, carbon credit schemes that combine with truly sustainable forestry can not only help to capture carbon in a sustainable way, but help to rejuvenate biodiversity. Farming can also be utilised to capture carbon thanks to soil’s ability to become ‘carbon sinks’, while hemp can be used to absorb dangerous ‘forever chemicals’. One of our favourite innovations was the sustainable fibre made out of potatoes by Fibe!
There was a similar focus on developing agricultural tech that not only creates greener farming, but also helps to increase yields and make crops less susceptible to the increasing effects of climate change – especially in developing nations.
Collaboration between all stakeholders is vital for a greener future
While the focus of the London Climate Technology Show is on innovation, the event was notable for the broad range of attendees present: from policymakers to business leaders, investors to charities. As the introductory keynote speech by Shariq Abdul Hai Founder & CEO of Valiant and Company made clear, collaboration was a core theme of the event.
If we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work towards the long term vision of a sustainable earth, events such as these will be vital for conversations between the many parties involved. And with macro-economic conditions testing the resolve of many in their commitment to green alternatives, wider frameworks and goals are needed for driving accountability – as laid out by Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, Director at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Intergovernmental Process and Collective Progress, during her presentation on the UN’s Global Stocktake initiative
The green revolution starts at home
While there was a great deal of focus on innovations that businesses could take advantage of, negating climate risks means that everyone globally has to start making changes. With this in mind, it was no surprise that there was a focus on how to bring clean energy to homes world wide and how to make the buildings we live in greener.
From using heat pumps to decarbonise old buildings, to how older electrical grids can be upgraded using cloud computing, the range of solutions on display was encouraging. Like many climate issues, there is no quick fix for making homes greener, but through a combination of green energy, insulation projects, and other tech innovations we can all start to live more sustainably.
Storytelling is vital to bring innovations to wider audiences
Throughout the conference, we were blown away by the number of incredible innovations on display – so many have the ability to make an impact on our world. But, as a number of speakers pointed out, far too often those developing these solutions are so focussed on saving the planet that they forget that the wider public – and specifically high-level decision makers – need to hear about them.
At a panel on how UK innovation can grow the economy, the audience heard that the narrative of climate change was now an old one – the public’s imagination needed to once again be galvanised not only by its threat, but what possabilities a greener future can bring. Storytelling is at the heart of that and cleantech brands have a responsibility to help craft these new narratives – especially if their world-changing innovations are to be more widely accepted.
Tackling climate change is as much a cultural revolution as it is a tech one. Cleantech innovators need to look to create new narratives and inspire decision makers into the positive change needed for reaching net zero emissions.
If you would like to bring your cleantech company’s story to life, get in touch at email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you!