• Views 29
  • Favorites
Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay


CFR Education


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Engineering, Computer Science and Design Thinking

Resource Types

  • Digital Text
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus



Google Docs

CFR Education: How Can Artificial Intelligence Combat Climate Change?

Ask a Question

  • This section explores the nature of artificial intelligence (AI), how AI could be used to fight climate change, and the ways AI could exacerbate climate change.
  • There is a linked lesson plan for grades 9-12 and a linked discussion guide for higher education classes.
  • This is the fourteenth section of the World 101 Climate Change module.
Teaching Tips


  • This section is nuanced, fair, and well-organized.
  • This section examines the minerals that AI technologies require.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know what greenhouse gas emissions are and how they impact the Earth's climate.
  • If you click the words "Get the data" under the chart, you'll download a CSV file that can be used in a number of spreadsheet programs.


  • To assess prior knowledge, the teacher can ask the class questions about AI before reading the section.
  • For this section, teachers can go over the main idea of key paragraphs in order to ensure comprehension.
  • This section could enhance a classroom discussion on other methods of climate mitigation and how they compare to AI.
  • Teachers could use this section as a conceptual introduction to electronic waste and how it impacts the environment.
  • To extend the topic, have students think about the safety issues of public or shared transportation that women, children, and the elderly face or the higher energy demands of more electronic devices instead of using human-powered thinking.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Council on Foreign Relations provides an introduction to the promise and potential pitfalls of using artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool to combat climate change. After providing an introduction to AI and machine learning, the resource lists five ways that AI can be used to fight climate change. The article does a great job of providing balance by next discussing potential concerns with AI. An included lesson plan walks students through understanding both the uses of AI in climate action and the Inflation Reduction Act, a 2022 bill that invests $370 billion into climate mitigation and adaptation measures over ten years. This resource ties technology with recent legislative action to educate students about meaningful steps being taken to slow global climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development and how they interact to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • Mathematics
    • Functions: Interpreting Functions (9-12)
      • HSF.IF.B.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review