Greening the digital society

Digital technologies and artificial intelligence are regarded as indispensable allies in the fight against climate change. At the same time, these technologies also have a negative impact on the environment. What is the relationship between digital technologies and global warming? In what ways do digital technologies contribute to both reducing and accelerating climate change? And what might good environmental governance look like in the digital society?

Essential allies

In the face of global warming, digital technologies and artificial intelligence are increasingly seen as essential allies in the battle against climate change. They play a crucial role in tracking and monitoring our emissions, while smart technologies enhance overall efficiency, thereby mitigating the environmental impact of the digital society. Additionally, by modeling climate trends, these technologies not only raise awareness of climate change but also provide us with tools to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Negative impact

However, these technologies also exert a negative impact, and their own environmental footprint cannot be ignored. They consume an enormous amount of energy, depend heavily on the extraction of raw material with adverse ecological effects, and yield significant electronic waste. Moreover, the energy and water requirements of data centers, which underpin our digital society, present yet another urgent environmental challenge.

Raising awareness

This Special Interest Group (SIG) explores the relationship between digital technologies and climate change. By bringing together perspectives from various disciplines, it aims to better understand how digital technologies both aid in mitigating and contribute to accelerating climate change. The SIG’s objective is to raise awareness of this contradiction and to develop principles for good environmental governance of the digital society.