Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Climate Adaptation and Sustainability in Europe
June 4, 2024 EA Editor

Impact of Climate Change on Europe

Climate change is profoundly affecting economic, social, and environmental systems worldwide, and its consequences are expected to persist into the foreseeable future. European cities are particularly vulnerable, experiencing warmer, drier, and wetter climates, which lead to natural hazards such as floods, storms, and heatwaves. These extreme weather events result in significant human fatalities, with estimates ranging from 85,000 to 145,000 deaths across Europe. In response to these challenges, adaptation policies have been launched to mitigate impacts and prepare for future climate-related events.

Role of Artificial Intelligence in Climate Adaptation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies are set to play crucial roles in climate adaptation. AI has great potential to assess, predict, and mitigate the effects of climate change by processing large and complex datasets on emissions and climate impacts. This technology transforms raw data into actionable information, optimizes complex systems, improves prediction accuracy, and accelerates scientific modeling and discovery. These capabilities enable better-informed decision-making and more effective climate action.

AI’s Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals

AI’s integration into sustainable agendas highlights its importance in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines 17 goals and 169 targets, with AI acting as an enabler for 134 of these targets across social, economic, and environmental domains. AI can significantly benefit societal outcomes by supporting the supply of essential services, facilitating smarter cities, and promoting circular economy practices. Economically, AI enhances productivity, reduces inequalities, and fosters innovation. Environmentally, AI aids in climate action, conservation efforts, and the development of low-carbon energy systems.

European Green Deal and AI’s Role

The European Green Deal underscores the potential of AI in promoting fairness, prosperity, and sustainability within Europe. AI contributes to various European strategies by providing critical scientific knowledge for environmental decision-making, enhancing resource efficiency, and fostering responsible business and consumer behaviors. AI-driven Earth Observation programs like Copernicus produce vast amounts of environmental data, enabling more effective monitoring and trend analysis. Additionally, AI supports regulatory compliance and participatory governance through advanced regulatory technologies.

TEMA Project and AI for Natural Disaster Management

The TEMA project, funded by Horizon Europe, exemplifies the application of AI in addressing climate change. This project focuses on natural disaster management (NDM) by leveraging AI for precise semantic 3D mapping and disaster evolution prediction. Such technologies enable real-time disaster prevention and preparedness for events like floods and forest fires. TEMA also engages stakeholders through webinars, fostering community building and synergies to enhance AI’s role in mitigating climate change effects. The upcoming “AI 4 Sustainability” webinar will convene European-funded projects to discuss AI’s contributions to sustainability and climate resilience.