Good Climate Solutions Need Good Policy—and AI Can Help With That

To achieve real climate solutions, changing behavior and developing technology is not enough, says Michal Nachmany, founder and CEO of the environmental nonprofit Climate Policy Radar. “A lot of this is policy,” she says.

We need better laws, policies, and regulations, as well as needing to hold policymakers and corporates to account, because they’re not doing a good enough job, she argues. The problem is that understanding what policies are out there, and what works and what doesn’t, is an enormous task. So Climate Policy Radar’s goal is to use AI to understand the sprawling climate policy space, to help make sure that future laws and policies are evidence-based.

“We gathered together all of the climate laws and policies and strategies and action plans that every single government in this world has on its books,” she explains. “There are 470,000 pages in there—or 4.5 million paragraphs.”

To analyze these using general language AI systems is not enough, Nachmany says. “They source not-credible data sources, they hallucinate, they do all sorts of things that we really don’t want to bring into our decision making,” she says. “So we use augmented intelligence, using human expertise to teach machines.”

As a not-for-profit, Climate Policy Radar offers its constantly updated data for free, and it has a community of practitioners available to collaborate with anyone who works with or seeks to influence decision-makers.

“The people who need the data the most are the ones least able to pay for it,” she says. “So, there’s a really strong climate justice element to this.” She invites anyone who wanted to collaborate to contact her: “We’re just at the beginning of our journey.”

This article appears in the March/April 2024 issue of WIRED UK magazine.

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