AI for the Planet: A New Alliance to Fight Climate Change

Neutral, International Coalition to Drive AI Solutions for Climate Change at Scale to Be Led by Startup Inside, with Boston Consulting Group and BCG GAMMA as Knowledge Partners

BOSTON—Climate change causes, and will continue to cause, major impacts on environmental, social, and economic systems around the globe. Mitigation efforts, including achieving net zero emissions by 2050, are needed to limit global temperature rise and its repercussions. Adaptation and resilience efforts are also a critical global priority, as they can help minimize the harm resulting from elevated global temperatures--resulting in the preservation of not just the environment but also human lives and livelihoods.

Applying artificial intelligence (AI) to climate challenges provides a vital way to make meaningful change at this critical moment. AI for the Planet, a newly formed neutral and international alliance to drive AI solutions for climate change at scale, is being announced today. Led by Startup Inside, with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and BCG GAMMA as knowledge partners, it will build a multidisciplinary and diverse coalition of AI and climate leaders to drive concrete and measurable action. The other collaborators in the alliance are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), and the AI for Good Foundation.

Among AI for the Planet’s primary objectives is establishing a global platform to:

  • Identify and prioritize the top use cases for AI in addressing climate change, such as accurately measuring emissions
  • Select and champion the most promising solutions to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, especially in the Global South
  • Ensure these solutions can achieve impact at scale, with actions like forming connections with investors, and public and private decision makers driving climate action on the ground

How AI Can Be Used to Save the Planet

By gathering and analyzing complex datasets on emissions, climate impacts, and more, AI can be leveraged to help all stakeholders—from policymakers and NGOs to corporations and investors—take a more informed and data-driven approach to building a greener and more resilient society.

  • AI can accelerate efforts to mitigate climate change by optimizing supply chain networks to simultaneously reduce the energy needed and the costs incurred to ship people and cargo around the world; as well as improving energy grid operations by helping forecast electricity demands.
  • AI can play a critical role in climate adaptation and resilience efforts by gathering and analyzing large datasets in real time, leading to the creation of early warning systems for extreme weather events, and long-term projections of localized events such as sea-level rise. This will be especially vital for the over three billion people living in areas highly vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Global South where there is a lower concentration of wealth and resources than the Global North.1
  • AI can help with research and education efforts by modeling climate feedback loops that help decision-makers explore the intended and unintended effects of climate-related policies and decisions. AI can also be used for climate finance, such as carbon price forecasting and calculating the cost of inaction.

Over the next 12 months, AI for the Planet’s plans include publishing a report analyzing the use cases for AI in climate change, launching a call for solutions to identify and support promising innovations in climate AI, and organizing a global conference to drive further action. However, use of AI can also lead to unintended consequences, such as amplified unsustainable behavior and ethical breaches. As part of the initiative’s efforts, AI for the Planet will work to identify and mitigate these risks.

“The potential of AI to lessen climate change is huge. We want to find the best AI climate change solutions worldwide and accelerate their adoption and scale across the Global North and Global South. To achieve this, we joined forces with UNESCO, UNDP, UN OICT, and BCG to build a diverse community of AI and climate leaders.”
-- Damien Gromier, founder of AI for the Planet, and CEO & cofounder of Startup Inside

“At BCG GAMMA, we leverage AI to help our clients reach their climate goals. From setting an accurate baseline, to filling in data gaps, AI can help leaders understand the cost of inaction and accelerate decision-making to move to action. We need collaboration to make this work, which is why we are honored to be the knowledge partner of this critical alliance.”
-- Hamid Maher, managing director & partner at BCG and BCG GAMMA

“The risk of climate change impact is disproportionately higher for people who are already living in vulnerable situations. UNDP is looking forward to being part of this coalition, as there are opportunities for shaping the direction of AI technology. It is about coproducing and codesigning the technology together with the people who are the most in need.”
-- Reina Otsuka, digital innovation specialist, nature, climate, and energy at UNDP

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces. UNESCO will empower countries to effectively use AI and emerging technologies to mitigate and adapt to climate change—from enhancing knowledge exchanges between countries to assessing the risks of natural disasters and monitoring the effects of climate change through open, inclusive, and multistakeholder processes. That’s why we’re so glad to be part of this coalition.”
-- Dr. Marielza Oliveira, director for partnerships and operational programme monitoring, communication and information sector at UNESCO

“Climate change affects everythingfrom the health of ecosystems to disaster risks, global trade, and food security. It is one of the world’s most important and urgent challenges. But it is also one of the most complexwe need to leverage data and AI if we are to understand all the dynamics involved. The UN Office of Information and Communications Technology is excited to be part of this coalition and help make it a catalyst and enabler of AI for climate change.”
-- Lambert Hogenhout, chief data, analytics & emerging technologies at United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology

“For AI to make a real impact, collaboration between stakeholders is essential. This alliance will enable private sector companies, international agencies, governments, and investors to work together toward achieving our common goal.”
-- Mark Minevich, AI for the Planet co-chair, chair of the executive committee at the AI for Good Foundation, and BCG GAMMA senior advisor

To learn more, see the official round table:

Media contacts:
BCG: Eric Gregoire,
Startup Inside: Damien Gromier,

[1] IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II; referring to geographies such as: Small Island Developing States, South Asia, and West-, Central- and East Africa.

About Startup Inside

Startup Inside is committed to sharing new ways of working from the world of startups and teaching new technologies through experience. We are an ecosystem of experts in Open Innovation, AI, and Intrapreneurship to help large organizations in their transformation. Startup Inside contributes significantly to projects with a positive social and environmental impact through ecosystem initiatives such as AI for Health and AI for the Planet. Prior to this alliance, AI for the Planet—in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and with the support of Microsoft—hosted its first conference of AI and climate experts, attended by 2,300 people from 110 countries.


BCG GAMMA is BCG’s global team dedicated to applying artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to critical business problems at leading companies and organizations. The team includes more than 1,500 data scientists and engineers who utilize AI and advanced analytics (including machine learning, deep learning, optimization, simulation, natural language, and image analytics) to build solutions that transform business performance. BCG GAMMA’s approach builds value and competitive advantage at the intersection of data science, technology, people, business processes, and ways of working.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.
Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.