Cornell University, one of the top private universities in the United States, has published compelling research that suggests the metaverse has the potential to bring down global warming to a certain extent, lowering the global surface temperature by up to “0.02 degrees Celsius before the end of the century.”
How Will Metaverse Help In The Climate Crisis?
According to a new study by Cornell University, the metaverse could have immense environmental benefits besides the potential to transform various industries, including remote work, education, shopping, real estate, and entertainment, among several other facets of the business and the consumer experience. The new research suggests the cryptocurrency sub-ecosystem could help in reducing the damaging effects of global warming to a certain extent.
Metaverse could put a dent in global warming https://t.co/0LLreUaStl
— Edwin Rivera (@RealE_Rivera) June 15, 2023
As per the research paper titled, “Growing Metaverse Sector Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 10 Gt CO2e in the United States by 2050” it seems this emerging 3D-enabled digital space that uses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other advanced internet features will help in lowering the global surface temperature by up to 0.02 degrees Celsius before the end of the century.
The study claimed that by 2050 the metaverse industry could potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions by 10 gigatons, lower atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration by 4.0 parts per million and decrease effective radiative forcing by 0.035 watts per square meter.
Eventually, the entire Web3 space, including the metaverse could also lower total domestic energy consumption by 92 Exajoule (EJ). This burgeoning virtual reality world holds the promise of substantial reductions in carbon emissions, whether through the substitution of physical goods with digital ones, replacing real-world presence with virtual interactions, or digital twins that will help in optimizing the physical world.
Metaverse Would Help in Reducing Waste
In addition, it is also feasible that customers could shift their budgets for certain products like fashion, transportation and commercial energy usage to sustainable virtual options which require fewer resources to create and contribute less waste.
Fengqi You, a professor in Energy Systems Engineering at Cornell Engineering and the paper’s senior author noted, one of the most promising benefits of the metaverse could be found in business travel. Air travel accounts for a massive chunk of global carbon emissions.
As per You, limiting business travel would generate the largest environmental benefit regarding the pressing issue of global warming that has been disrupting the entire world, threatening the mere existence of the human species. He explained,
“Think about the decarbonization of our transportation sector. Electric vehicles work, but you can’t drive a car to London or Tokyo. Do I really have to fly to Singapore for a conference tomorrow? That will be an interesting decision-making point for some stakeholders to consider as we move forward with these technologies with human–machine interface in a 3D virtual world.”
One Small Step at a Time
You also suggested that in the future, business meetings could be conducted in the metaverse, recreating some of the same benefits of in-person meetings while reducing the emissions of air travel. Furthermore, metaverse-based remote working, distance learning, and virtual tourism could be promoted to improve air quality.
Harness the power of the Metaverse to combat #GlobalWarming. Virtual business operations = lower CO2 emissions. Trading goods and services in the digital realm = low physical resources. The #Metaverse is not just our future—it's Earth's future. #Sustainability #DigitalEconomy
— Skill Codex (@skillcodex) May 13, 2023
It has become a necessity for businesses and consumers, alike, to lead in this critical moment of an impending climate crisis, leveraging the metaverse’s innovation while at the same time convening power and investment. You highlighted the metaverse is going to help, but in the end, it is going to help lower the global surface temperature by a small extent. He added,
“There are so many sectors in this economy. You cannot count on the metaverse to do everything. But it could do a little bit if we leverage it in a reasonable way.”