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Policy brief: emerging technologies, a lever to tackle urban challenges in the climate decade

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The case of Barcelona

Tags: 'Artificial Intelligence' 'digital emergency' 'digital future society' 'Emerging technologies' 'Public innovation'
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This year marks the beginning of the so-called “climate decade”. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) must fall 25-55%, compared to 2018 levels, by 2030. This is to limit global warming to 2ºC-1.5ºC and fulfil the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the United Nations has set 2030 as the deadline to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to build a more prosperous, fair, equitable and just society. Here, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, big data, the internet of things, 5G, etc. can provide the transformative tools needed to help achieve these vital commitments. 

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, and more joining them every year, cities today consume more than 75% of natural resources, produce more than 50% of global waste and emit 60-80% of GHG. Also, in many countries, cities and regions have powers related to the SDGs in areas such as water, housing, transport, infrastructure, land use and climate change. Therefore, as well as emerging technologies, cities are also major allies in the fight against the climate emergency and the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. 

This document marks the beginning of a new field of action that seeks to maximise knowledge management and collective intelligence in order to solve the urban challenges that concern sustainability and climate change through the use of emerging technology.