Bonn AI & Climate 2024

UNU-EHS, in collaboration with UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee, is organizing an Expert Meeting on AI & Climate.

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Date: 1-2 July 2024

Location: Wissenschaftszentrum,
Ahrstraße 45, 53175 Bonn, Germany


The UN Secretary-General has declared a race: a race to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the greater good, which "supercharges" climate action and propels the world towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. AI technologies have the potential to leapfrog climate solutions around the globe, transforming climate mitigation and adaptation approaches, including for frontline communities in developing countries. Yet skill gaps exist between AI providers, governments and users of AI. Developing relevant products and algorithms will have to be done with users' preferences in mind. Ethical and safe use of AI for the climate will require strong enabling and regulatory frameworks. Equitable access to AI, especially for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), demands awareness of existing digital divides, data gaps and biases. Lastly, making AI a meaningful climate technology also requires minimizing the emissions and resource impact of the technology itself.  

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism Initiative on AI for Climate Action explores the role of AI as a powerful technological tool for advancing and scaling up transformative climate solutions for mitigation and adaptation action in developing countries with a focus on LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), while also addressing the challenges and risks posed by AI, such as energy consumption, data security and the digital divide. UNFCCC COP 28 requested the Technology Mechanism to implement its Initiative in a manner that gives special attention to the capacity needs of LDCs and SIDS. In 2024, the policy body of the Technology Mechanism, the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee, is developing a technical paper on AI for climate action and conducting the AI Innovation Grand Challenge, a global competition to identify open-source AI-powered climate solutions from and for developing countries. Against this backdrop, UNU-EHS is hosting the AI - Climate Bonn Expert Meeting in partnership with the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee. Experts, representatives and decision makers, especially from developing countries, including LDCs and SIDS, will join forces to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Understand the emerging solution space of AI for climate action and accelerate partnerships:
    Promote the exchange of cutting-edge research, insights and best practices in climate change mitigation and adaptation enabled by AI technologies. Equip decision makers and stakeholders with a future positive vision of AI. Bring together AI experts, especially from the Global South, to showcase innovative AI-driven solutions for climate challenges and highlight their potential to create partnerships to further sustainable development objectives. Support developing countries to use AI to create their own climate solutions.
  2. Explore governance and enabling regulation for equitable AI and climate:
    Facilitate discussions between policymakers and AI experts to inform evidence-based climate policy decisions and strategies, especially in the context of LDCs and SIDS. Discuss global implications of AI and climate governance to maximize the impact and to minimize the risk of the technology.  
  3. Understand direct and indirect leveraging points for greening AI technologies:
    Explore ways to minimize direct emission from computing and avoid carbon leakage. Discuss strategies to reduce downstream emissions from AI applications.
  4. Inform the work of UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee on AI and climate action:
    Prepare exchanges that provide input into the future work of the UNFCCC TEC on AI and climate action, including an upcoming technical paper on AI for climate action in LDCs and SIDS, including the risks and challenges of the use of AI.

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View Agenda here.