Selected opportunities to use machine learning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in industry.
Industrial production, logistics, and building materials are leading causes of difficult-to-eliminate GHG emissions . Fortunately for ML researchers, the global industrial sector spends billions of dollars annually gathering data on factories and supply chains  – aided by improvements in the cost and accessibility of sensors and other data-gathering mechanisms (such as QR codes and image recognition). The availability of large quantities of data, combined with affordable cloud-based storage and computing, indicates that industry may be an excellent place for ML to make a positive climate impact. ML demonstrates considerable potential for reducing industrial GHG emissions under the following circumstances: • When there is enough accessible, high-quality data around specific processes or transport routes. • When firms have an incentive to share their proprietary data and/or algorithms with researchers and other firms. • When aspects of production or shipping can be readily fine-tuned or adjusted, and there are clear objective functions. • When firms’ incentives align with reducing emissions (for example, through efficiency gains, regulatory compliance, or high GHG prices). In particular, ML can potentially reduce global emissions (Fig. 4) by helping to streamline supply chains, improve production quality, predict machine breakdowns, optimize heating and cooling systems, and prioritize the use of clean electricity over fossil fuels [360–363]. However, it is worth noting that greater efficiency may increase the production of goods and thus GHG emissions (via the Jevons paradox) unless industrial actors have sufficient incentives to reduce overall emissions .