AI and Climate Change

Aerial drone footage of wind turbines in a forest near the sea Green energy park with augmented reality shows online connectivity
Aerial drone footage of wind turbines in a forest near the sea Green energy park with augmented reality shows online connectivity. Adobe Stock
Date Tuesday 30 April 2024
Time 17:00 - 19:00
St Hilda's College, Oxford

Cowley Place, Oxford, OX4 1DY

Howard Covington

AI and Climate Change: Fernando Lecture 2024

AI will accelerate innovation in clean energy systems and environmental monitoring and protection. It will thus make for a faster energy transition and help preserve biodiversity. But AI and climate change are also prompting domestic and international political changes that could slow the energy transition in this critical decade. Moreover, both AI and the climate are evolving very fast. By the time the world has net zero in sight, we will not only have disrupted the climate and nature, but we may have among us an abundance of human-level or super-intelligent datacenters. This abundance may usher in an era of economic plenty that makes it easier to deal with climate disruption, or it could generate more disruption by increasing inequality, reducing social cohesion, and possibly limiting human development. Humanity has set itself an epoch-defining challenge to rise to. Howard Covington will try to put into context some of the themes around AI and climate change that will shape our immediate future.

Howard Covington

Howard is a Cambridge graduate in physics and maths. He has been a director of SG Warburg, European chief executive of Wasserstein Perella, a co-founder and chief executive of New Star Asset Management, a trustee of the Science Museum, chair of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, founding chair of The Alan Turing Institute, chair of the Scotia Group, chair of ClientEarth, and an advisory board member of the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. Howard is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and an honorary fellow of the Isaac Newton Institute and The Alan Turing Institute.

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Adrian Fernando

The annual Fernando Lecture is held in memory of Adrian Fernando, COO of EcoSecurities Group, a company conceived to tackle climate change by using market mechanisms to properly price the environment. The series fosters discussion of the role of business & economics in solving the world’s environmental challenges.