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AI to help China Reduce Carbon Emission

A white paper shows Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications will help China cut down over 35 billion tonnes of carbon emission by 2060, the year the nation pledged to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality. At least 70% of China’s carbon reductions will involve AI-related technologies by 2060. The white paper was jointly released by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) and a Chinese tech company that has greatly dived into AI technology in recent years.

Carbon neutrality is set to be fueled by heavy technology involvement, according to the report. The communications infrastructures will help the deployment of AI technology in different sectors. In 2020, the carbon emission of the transportation industry in China is estimated to be 1.04 billion tonnes, accounting for 9% of the country’s total. AI technology can be deployed to process traffic data to improve efficiency at crossroads. A city with a population of over 10 million will be able to cut down 41,600 tonnes of carbon emission, an equivalent of 14,000 private cars driving for a year.

The paper also estimated that cloud computing technology helped the world to reduce carbon emissions equal to what 26 million cars could exhaust in 2020. China has vowed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The country has since adopted a series of policies, measures and actions to push forward carbon emission reduction despite economic challenges. China has also rolled out new guidelines on carbon reduction promoting the integration of the carbon industry and techs such as big data, AI and 5G.

China aims to become the global leader in low-carbon tech for a carbon-constrained world. China is today the world’s largest emitter of planet-heating gases, responsible for about 28% of total global emissions.

In the 2021-2025 economic and social development plan, the government will reinforce a strong signal to Chinese industry to move away from fossil fuels and national emissions are likely to start falling within five years. However, shifting rapidly from a focus on dirty industry to greener tech is a monumental task. Hence, China tries to identify the green technology of the future that will solve the current environmental problems.

As a core driving force for the next round of industrial transformation, AI will further release the huge energy accumulated over the previous technological and industrial transformation, create a new engine for restructuring production, distribution, exchanges and consumption, build up new demand for intelligentisation in both macro and micro sense, create new technology, products, industries, dynamics and models, trigger a major transformation of economic structure, deeply alter human life and thinking and realise the advancement of social productivity.

AI brings new opportunities for social development. China is now at a critical juncture of building a relatively well-off society in an all-around way while it is facing severe challenges like ageing population and resource and environment restraint. AI boasts broad applications in education, medical care, provision for the aged, environmental protection, urban operation and judicial service, which will markedly improve targeted public service and people’s livelihood.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, China has announced its ambition to become the world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2030. China appears to be making rapid progress, and central and local government spending on AI in China is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

Recently, Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been extensively applied in a national park in northwest China to track snow leopards inhabiting the region. The AI-aided digital toolbox can automatically distinguish the species in the Qilian Mountains National Park, Gansu Province, from other wildlife, using images captured by infrared cameras. The technology can thus improve data processing efficiency.

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