21 companies commit climate actions via technology

San Francisco: Twenty-one companies, including India’s Tech Mahindra, will announce the launch of the Step Up Declaration — a new alliance dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors and ensure a climate turning point by 2020, it was declared on Thursday.

The declaration signatories include several established climate leaders like Akamai Technologies, Arm, Autodesk, Bloomberg, BT, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft, Nokia, Salesforce, Supermicro, Symantec, Uber, Vigilent and VMware.

Collectively, these organisations cover a broad range of industries capable of delivering significant greenhouse gas emissions cuts across buildings, data-centres, finance, telecoms, transport and more, the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) said in a statement.

GCAS’ high-level plenary session, with focus on the launch of the Exponential Climate Action Roadmap, to move from incremental to exponential action, began in this California city on Thursday.

The two-day session saw over 4,000 business, city, state and civil society delegates plotting more ambitious commitments to achieve the goals set by the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

As part of the Step Up Declaration, Tech Mahindra will create the first ever global ‘AI for Action’ movement for climate via a new competition, organised by GCAS and its associate companies, that will deliver real solution for climate action.

Tech Mahindra is committed to the sustainability goals, and is investing in specific initiatives, including achieving carbon neutrality (15 per cent reduction in Scope 1-2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2020-21).

Recognising the opportunity to take action and help mitigate the worst potential impacts of global warming, the signatories behind the Step Up Declaration are joining forces in response to a challenge issued in May by Convenor of Mission 2020 Christiana Figueres.

Her challenge urged the technology sector to dramatically “step up” climate action, to demonstrate their own progress ahead of 2020, and show how they can intentionally help the rest of the global economy decarbonise.

The Step Up Declaration was developed with leadership from Salesforce, the global leader in CRM. It refers to the transformative power of the fourth industrial revolution, which encompasses artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

In addition, the declaration acknowledges the role its signatories can play in demonstrating and enabling progress both in their immediate spheres of influence and “collaboratively with others — across all sectors of society, including individuals, corporations, civil society, and governments”.

Existing technologies currently influence the decisions of three billion people daily through e-Commerce, search and social media, and are at the heart of business and investor decisions.

These technologies and the companies behind them have the potential to both profoundly impact the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy.

The Step Up Declaration also includes a series of individual commitments detailing specific supporting actions.

“The influence of the fourth industrial revolution impacts us all. When that incredible force is primed to catalyze exponential shifts in GHG emissions reductions across all sectors of the economy, we can be stubbornly optimistic about delivering a liveable planet to our children within the time-frame we have left to do so,” Figueres said.

The Step Up Declaration and supporting commitments will be integrated with the Global Climate Action Summit’s official outcomes and a larger call to action to national leaders to accelerate their country’s respective progress under the Paris Agreement by 2020.