Climate change isn’t the only reason we need to digitalize faster. The world’s reliance on gas, oil and coal must end. The fossil fuels which drove the industrial revolution are wrecking the natural environment. Intelligence and automation of all machines will cut carbon dioxide emissions, alter trade flows and reshape our world.
Earlier this month, a UN report said that time is running out. If we don’t accelerate the energy transition now, our climate goals will be out of reach by the end of the decade. Switching to clean energy sources, digitalizing infrastructure, enabling sustainable transportation and production is what we need to do.
Geopolitical tensions have increased the sense of urgency. For many countries, the war in Ukraine underscores the advantages of energy from wind, solar, hydroelectric and even from nuclear. If you can power factories, businesses, schools, hospitals, homes, trains and cars without fossil fuels, you’re not just saving the environment, you’re saving resources and gaining independence.
Electricity from sources that are free to anyone who can harness them,reduces the need to import oil and gas. That strengthens a country’s independence from volatile energy markets, from energy supply chains, and from the politicians who control access.
I’ve spoken beforeof how scientific discovery, engineering and technology have given us the tools to manage environmental challenges. Imagine, we have even found ways to decarbonize extremely complex supply chains.
In many customer projects, Siemens, the company I proudly work for, is connecting energy systems, buildings and industries to create digitally networked ecosystems. Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, digital twins, connected devices and big data make everything more efficient be it machinery, production lines, factories, offices, shopping malls or electric grids. That is the key to a zero-carbon world.