Diverse Ways In Which IoT is Leveraged to Curb Climate Change
Sun, April 18, 2021

Diverse Ways In Which IoT is Leveraged to Curb Climate Change

Global innovators are standing up to save the planet by aligning IoT devices with international standards to combat climate change. / Photo by: nicoelnino via 123rf


We tend to associate IoT with smart wearable devices, boosting efficiency in various industries and logistics, enhancing our homes with responsive technology, according to IoT platform Interact Lighting. But IoT is also curbing climate change. Global innovators are standing up to save our planet by aligning IoT devices with international standards to combat climate change. 

IoT solutions at “various levels of implementation” have the potential to affect energy use and emissions, Brandon Jarma wrote in IoT news website IoT for All. For example, it is said that “the information and communications technology industry,” including IoT, could slash greenhouse gas emissions "by up to 63.5 gigatons or 15% across all industrial sectors by 2030,” as cited by Tash Bandeira of Ubidots, an engineering services firm. 

Green Buildings

Implementing IoT in green buildings could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since cities “account for almost three-quarters of the world’s carbon dioxide from global final energy use,” the prospect of constructing green buildings is becoming more imminent. Moreover, IoT solutions provide real-time data to improve the facility costs of buildings. 

Green buildings help minimize environmental impact by using eco-friendly materials and increasing green spaces in cities. Travel time would also be reduced if the structure is constructed at a convenient location. Overpopulation is already creating a negative impact on the environment. By 2050, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the organization’s development pillar, predicted that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. Hence, it makes sense for cities to be more energy-efficient. 

For instance, smart cities can leverage IoT systems to make the water supply more efficient, improve congestion, and provide more reliable public transportation. Smart cities can implement energy-saving measures such as remote working and trash and pollution monitoring. 

Reducing Carbon Output

Global NGO The Climate Group “advocates a widespread switch to LED lighting,” particularly in public areas and for street lighting to cut carbon emissions by 1.4 million tons each year. On the other hand, innovative manufacturers are dedicated to investing in LED to develop “city-wide digital lighting networks that act as IoT-enabled digital canopies.” 

Integrating them into these networks can bolster city efficiency, helping reroute vehicle traffic or making it faster and easier for drivers to park their vehicles, which further aids in reducing emissions. Jens Malmoding and Pernilla Bergmark of research and development firm Ericsson forecasted that the smart grid alone could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 3.9% by 2030. 

The smart electricity meter, a small component of the smart grid, functions as a “real-time two-way communication between consumer and utility.” The latter can easily meet energy demand with less waste by coordinating energy conservation and generation. Utilities might also offer rewards to consumers for using less energy during peak hours. IoT-powered smart services and industry could diminish carbon emissions by 3% by eliminating reliance on disposable materials in the public or private sector. 


IoT-powered smart services and industry could diminish carbon emissions by 3% by eliminating reliance on disposable materials in the public or private sector. / Photo by: nirut123rf via 123rf


Smart Farming

We should also not forget the role of IoT in farming and agriculture. As the population continues to swell, farmers need to produce more food using more sustainable methods. Presently, farming methods use water at a “risky rate,” resulting in soil degradation. IoT technologies like sensors can be implemented in farming to collect data on soil moisture, weather, and fertilization levels, helping farmers optimize irrigation and production. Low-cost, low-power IoT devices could introduce precision agriculture to avoid the over-consumption of water, fuel, and soil additives. 

Smart agriculture efforts also include cow monitoring, which helps identify sick livestock based on the anima’s behavior and position. Screening, treating, and removing ailing livestock improve dairy yields and minimize over-treatment with antibiotics. Most of all, this also creates more opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sick animals. 

IoT Technologies as Part of A Solution to Climate Change

The world would become more interconnected and responsive considering the wealth of IoT technologies available today. IoT will provide government officials and regulators with actionable climate data. If they have access to a verified and consistent source of climate and carbon data, it could help advance consensus, making it easier for politicians to devise and enforce policies. 

For regulators, enforcing anti-pollution goals has been a challenge. Despite that, climate -oriented public/private partnerships are becoming more prominent in the 21st century. Of course, fighting against the onset of climate change with technology is just the first step. Hence, public/private partnerships will need to be forged and matured. 

Additionally, policymakers need to intensify their efforts and commitment to investing in IoT technologies. After all, IoT aids in facilitating the flow of information, people, energy, and goods. IoT solutions will continue to adapt in this ever-changing society, urging researchers and leaders to arrive at a new consensus on the measures we need to take to protect ourselves from the dangers of climate change.  
IoT is just part of the solution in addressing climate change. Technology needs to be accompanied by like-minded policymakers and regulators who are passionate about solving this issue. There has to be a collective effort between these two parties Like any other technology, they need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of integrating IoT in cities or elsewhere.