On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the world's government, civic and business leaders are coming together in Paris to discuss one of the most important issues and opportunities of our time, climate change. I'm excited to lead the Microsoft delegation at these meetings. While the experts' warnings are dire, at Microsoft we believe technology advances can help us better understand and address the environmental issues facing our planet. That's why we're announcing in Paris that we are broadening our AI for Earth program with an expanded strategic plan and committing $50 million over the next five years to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of individuals and organizations around the world who are working to protect our planet.
In December 2017, two years after the Paris climate accord was adopted, French President Emmanuel Macron led government, business and civic leaders in a conference called The One Planet Summit. President Trump, who earlier in the year announced his commitment to withdraw the U.S. from the historic climate accord, was not invited. At this event, Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith announced the company would be committing $50 million over the following five years as part of a new strategy to provide access to artificial intelligence (AI) for groups and people who want to use it for the good for the planet. Microsoft's AI for Earth, a program with the goal of using AI to address environmental challenges, launched six months before this announcement.
With each industrial revolution mankind, has progressed by leaps and bounds. But that progress has also damaged our environment. Today, climate change, loss of biodiversity, water woes, and food sustainability are among the most pressing global issues. However, the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is set to fundamentally change such trends. Characterized by advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, automation, and quantum computing, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to heal the past and ensure a better future.
Announcing its plan to broaden the AI for Earth programme, Microsoft has pledged $50 million over the next five years to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of those who are working to mitigate climate change. Microsoft rolled out the AI for Earth programme six months ago with an aim to put the power of artificial intelligence towards tackling environmental challenges. "At Microsoft, we believe artificial intelligence is a game changer. Our approach as a company is focused on democratising AI so its features and capabilities can be put to use by individuals and organisations around the world to improve real-world outcomes," Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post on Monday. The announcement came on the eve of the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement.