Code Green: How Tech Can Help Save The Planet


    Oct 29, 2021

    The climate crisis is widely regarded as the greatest challenge humanity faces. Scientists tell us we need to keep the global rise in temperatures to below 1.5 degrees if we’re to avoid doing irreversible damage to our planet.

    World leaders, conservation experts, and businesses from around the globe are currently in Glasgow for COP26, highlighting that climate change is now one of the top issues on the global agenda. Governments will be setting out their carbon reduction targets – and how they plan to hit them. We know that technology will have a critical role to play.

    Already, Digital Energy is providing cleaner, greener electricity. Better connectivity is delivering more efficient transport solutions, as well as allowing more people to work from home. Artificial intelligence and cloud computing is even being used to help protect vulnerable eco-systems and species.

    Ensuring we make the most of the opportunities offered by technology and innovation will require both investment in ideas and in infrastructure. It will also need people with the right skills both now and in the future.

    On 14 October 2021, Huawei’s London Media Affairs team invited a host of expert panelists to examine all these issues.

    Highlights: Expert Voices & Views

    Kevin McCann

    Policy Manager at Solar Energy UK

    Solar Energy UK trade body which represents more than 250 companies in the solar energy industry.

    “Our ambition is to support the deployment of 40GW of solar power by 2030 which is a big increase on what we’ve got at the moment (about 14GWs)… and that will help with decarbonisation.” He added “you don’t need direct sunlight to generate solar power, solar works all year round… and that’s really important for people who want to invest.”

    Dr Jessica Ocampos

    CEO and Co-founder, Camnexus IoT

    Camnexus IoT is developing technology that enables leaks to be predicted and prevented in the aging infrastructure – she explained that in the UK 20% of the clean water is lost along the network.

    “One of the key challenges that the sector has is that it’s behind in digitalization.”

    “Connectivity is a huge issue… Half of the [world] population is without connectivity – we need to work collaboratively to make this happen.”  

    Matthew Howett

    Policy Analyst, Assembly Research

    Assembly Research provides independent custom and subscription-based information, analysis and opinion on regulatory, policy and legislative developments that affect communications markets and the wider digital economy

    Matthew noted that the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions through better connectivity could deliver big reductions in the transport sector alone.

    “We found that if you improve the connectivity that all of us as individuals have, then we think you could reduce something like 27.8 mega tonnes of CO2 from transport.”

    Matt also highlighted the potential carbon reduction from being able to work from home, pointing out that one person working from home one day a week will reduce their carbon footprint by 109 kg in a year. That’s the same the weight of an average giant panda, or newborn elephant!

    Dr Marconi Campos

    Chief Scientist, Rainforest Connection (RFCx)

    The NGO RFCx is exploring ways to use new technologies to further help them in their work, protecting rainforests across three continents.

    “Our state-of-the art, cost-effective technology can be deployed around the world to help save an ecosystem.”

    “A new AI approach with deep learning can greatly improve our understanding.”

    The Huawei and RFCx TECH4ALL project in Aoos Gorge, Greece can detect the gunshot of hunters who target the Balkan chamois

    A new project to help protect the endangered, indigenous red squirrel population in the UK has just been launched, using similar bioacoustics monitoring technology combined with artificial intelligence and cloud computing – a partnership between the University of Bristol, the UK Mammal Society, Rainforest Connection, and Huawei.

    Dr Stephanie Wray

    Chair, Mammal Society

    “Having this acoustic monitoring we have the opportunity to learn so much more. We can build up more of a picture of how things are for the red squirrels and what we might be able to change and manipulate to help tip the balance in their favour.”

    “There’s a lot of great red squirrel conservation work going on but what his gives us the opportunity to do is really scale that up when we need it most, and be able to cover more ground and learn much more.”

    The UK’s iconic but endangered red squirrel is outnumbered by the larger grey squirrel, an introduced species, by 20:1

    Technology companies also have a crucial role to play in the development of new talent, ensuring that the next generation have the skills to make the most of the opportunities tech can offer.

    Pallavi Malhotra

    Head of the Huawei ICT Academy programme in Western Europe

    “Taking industry knowledge directly to students and teachers allows them to understand what the latest developments are – because technology is developing at such a rapid rate.”

    For me, the event highlighted not only the huge role that green technology can play in improving lives around the world – but also the vital importance of bringing new ideas, and new perspectives, to the table. During the event, we heard from an inspirational student, Yuhua Feng, who took part in the Seeds for the Future programme. She explained that whilst there are apps to connect people with restaurants and supermarkets who are throwing away food – somehow homeless people had been overlooked. So her group developed an app that connects homeless shelters with restaurants and take-aways to put food waste to better use. A simple idea that has the potential to transform lives, and a great example of what can be achieved when we work together.

    Watch the full Code Green discussion.

    Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.


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