In the News

Why I'm hot on AI to combat climate issues

As corporations turn to artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive efficiency and cut costs, Fidelity's Asher Anolic is focusing on firms using it in ways that may help to fight climate change.

  • Significant developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have prompted companies to leverage the powerful computing technology to meet customer needs and improve operational efficiency, while some are also looking to address climate change, according to Fidelity Portfolio Manager Asher Anolic.
  • "I think we're still in the early stages of discovering the innumerable ways that AI and advanced machine-learning technologies might help solve climate crises, and several big firms are spearheading the path ahead," says Anolic, who manages Fidelity Advisor® Climate Action Fund.
  • In helming the fund since its inception in 2021, Anolic favors companies working to address climate change or its impact, either indirectly through their corporate strategy or directly through the technology, services or products they provide.
  • He cites Google parent Alphabet and IBM as outsized fund holdings (as of March 31) that are using advanced technology to reduce carbon emission in unique and meaningful ways.
  • In October 2021, Alphabet launched a feature in its Google Maps app that uses an AI-enabled prediction model to identify the most fuel-efficient routes to a user's destination, allowing them to input their vehicle's engine type (gas, electric, hybrid, diesel) for the most precise guidance, according to Anolic.
  • He adds that, according to an environmental report Alphabet released in October 2023, fuel-efficient routing has helped prevent about 2.4 million metric tons of CO2 emission since the feature's launch. The company says this is roughly equivalent to taking about 500,000 fuel-based cars off the road for one year.
  • Meanwhile, in a collaboration with NASA, IBM developed a geospatial foundation model that uses satellite and weather data to accelerate the rate at which climate-change hot spots are analyzed and located around the globe, Anolic says.
  • In November, IBM announced the use of its model in the analysis of climate trends and solutions in Kenya (for reforestation and water sustainability), the United Arab Emirates (as it relates to urban heat islands) and the U.K. (focusing on elevating climate resiliency).
  • "I continue to believe companies that stay ahead of the curve by incorporating carbon reduction into their corporate mission — such as Alphabet, IBM and others — should see lower business-model risk and disruption as demand for climate-change solutions grows significantly stronger," concludes Anolic.
  • For specific fund information such as standard performance and holdings, please go to the "Funds Managed" link on this page.

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