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UK data on emissions must be improved to meet net zero target, says IT industry leads

The UK aviation industry has today set out its first ever interim decarbonisation targets as the sector sets a course for achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Data on emissions must be improved to meet the UK’s net zero target, the IT industry has urged.

More than 70 per cent of technology experts lack confidence that key policymakers and departments have access to the right data, a survey by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT has revealed.

The data needs to be both easier to come by, more detailed and ideally in real-time – covering all emitters from vehicles to homes and offices.

“There is huge potential in existing digital technology to cut carbon emissions and reach vital targets – but we need better, richer data and far more qualified data scientists to do this,” chair of BCS’ Green IT Specialist Group, Alex Bardell said.

“The trends and spikes in that data are essential to decide the best way to save the planet as quickly as possible whilst building a sustainable economy and quality of life. Otherwise, the only way we’ll know what’s going on is when the next extreme weather event wipes out our towns and countryside.”

Though the UK is positioned well to meet this need, with its blossoming satellite and space-tech sector hosting solutions like real-time climate modelling and heat imaging technology.

The government’s National Data Strategy and the recently published AI Strategy are also aimed towards bolstering the country’s digital sector.

The BCS has called on both the government and industry leaders to show how they intend to build confidence in data science and AI – which will be crucial to measuring emissions and hitting net zero by 2050.


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