Tech can play a leading part in achieving net-zero - if there is the global political will and funding to do so, according to the professional body for IT. In its statement on today’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT called on governments around the world to make a ‘strong commitment’ to fund tech industries to tackle climate change.

As delegates prepare for COP26 in Glasgow next month, BCS President John Higgins said: ‘Tech was central to the IPCC report, as it used supercomputer modelling to show the stark reality of global warming. This is just one way that IT can be used to assess the climate emergency we are in - and hopefully find solutions too.

‘Promoting and supporting green IT is one of the main pillars of BCS policy. Thousands of BCS members are researching, developing, and deploying information technologies that can help the world tackle this emergency. These innovations can play a powerful role in achieving net-zero.

‘Machine learning and broader AI are the latest in a long line of technologies that are vital tools in our climate change kitbag.’

As part of the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC), BCS has called for an economic recovery that pivots the UK towards a net-zero future, rather than rather than locking it into a high-carbon future.

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BCS has also backed The Royal Society’s 2020 report, Digital technology and the planet: Harnessing computing which states that nearly a third of the 50 per cent reduction needed in carbon emissions by the UK by 2030, could be achieved through existing digital technology.

John Higgins added: ‘We urge governments across the globe to make a strong commitment to supporting and encouraging the digital industries to develop green and sustainable practices. Plus, there needs to be more funding for research and development so that IT and digital tech can tackle the climate emergency.

'We also appeal to all governments to encourage faster and wider adoption as part of a net-zero strategy. As current Chair of the G7 and host of the COP26 summit, the UK is in a unique position to demonstrate it is a digital leader in the fight against climate change.’

BCS is calling on all governments participating in the G7, the G20 and COP26 to seize this opportunity for international collaboration to make visible and tangible commitments to green IT and responsible computing.