IBM, partners to accelerate clean energy transition for vulnerable populations

As the impact of climate change becomes more severe, IBM – COP27 technology partner has announced the new members of its global pro bono social impact program – The Sustainability Acceleration Program.

The new members are United Nations Development Programme, Sustainable Energy for All, Net Zero Atlantic, Miyakojima City Government, and Environment Without Borders Foundation.

Through the IBM Sustainability Acceleration program, the organisations will be supported to accelerate the transition to clean energy for vulnerable populations.

“With the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, we are convening experts and using innovative technologies to help tackle the toughest environmental challenges our planet faces; and transitioning to clean energy is a critical step right now,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG at IBM.

“With this new cohort, helping marginalized communities get just and equitable access to sustainable energy resources not only helps the world achieve the goal of UN SDG7 but can help in the larger global energy transition.”

The program will apply IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale projects focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including climate change.

IBM has previously announced it plans to select five organizations for this program each year and expects to provide $30 million worth of services by the end of 2023.

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After evaluating more than 100 submissions from around the world, IBM selected the organizations that were chosen as the clean energy cohort.

The selection process considered the applicant’s commitment to supporting communities that are especially vulnerable to environmental threats, its ability to increase access to affordable clean energy services, and its strategic focus and transparency on measurement and reporting, among others.

UNDP will work with IBM to increase access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy in African countries, focusing on those furthest left behind.

Sustainable Energy for All will work with IBM to build an intelligent model to project energy needs based on current and future human activity.

Net Zero Atlantic is collaborating with IBM to create an interactive digital tool that will geospatially display the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of possible energy system futures for Nova Scotia.

The Miyakojima City Government is working with IBM to support the development of a renewable energy strategy including a microgrid on Miyakojima Island, a distant community facing severe climate issues due to typhoons in Japan.

Environment Without Borders Foundation’s collaboration with IBM will be aimed to develop a platform to forecast, track, and communicate clean energy usage options in Egypt.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains, and diversion of fiscal resources to keep food and fuel prices affordable have affected the pace of progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.