Bridging Climate and Digital Governance: Experts Discuss Data, AI, Cybersecurity, and Digital Twin Framework

Press Release:

On 7 March 2023, the College of Europe, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), DiploFoundation, the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), and the Republic and Canton of Geneva co-hosted a seminar to address two critical governance issues of our era: climate and digital governance. Experts, diplomats, and students discussed how these realms are intertwined with regard to water, dust, oceans, data, AI, and cybersecurity. 

Data is a key bridge between climate and digital governance. Negotiations on climate change adaptation require a lot of data and evidence. However, a lot of data is missing. This is where we need more standardisation and interoperability.

Digital twins (i.e. digital representations of real-world physical objects) can provide us with an integrated approach to climate-change mitigation efforts by connecting physical assets with their virtual counterparts. By doing this, we can gain a better understanding of how our actions affect physical processes in real time.

An underlying message from students and experts was that scientists need to have more awareness of social and policy issues. At the same time, diplomats and policymakers should have a basic understanding of climate and digital issues. Universities and training institutions should facilitate this exchange of knowledge and skill among science, technology, and diplomatic communities. These ‘boundary-spanner’ skills will be critical in the coming years. 

The seminar concluded by stressing the importance of bridging gaps between digital technologies and climate policies in order to create effective solutions that will benefit people and the planet alike. 

Programme and speakers

Welcome and introductory addresses

  • Maja Drazenovic Carrieri, Director,Governance Services, WMO 
  • Simon Schunz, Professor, College of Europe
  • Olivier Coutau, Delegate to International Geneva, Republic and the State of Geneva
  • Jovan Kurbalija, Director, DiploFoundation & Head, Geneva Internet Platform 

Digital developments: Data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity

  • Richard Hill, Independent Consultant, Richard Hill & Associates 
  • Livia Walpen, Senior Policy Advisor, International Relations, Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM)
  • Serge Droz-Georget, Senior Technical Advisor, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland 

Climate developments: Water, aerosols, oceans

  • Sara Basart, Science Officer, WMO 
  • Belén Martín Míguez, Scientific Officer, Ocean Observations Physics and Climate Panel, WMO
  • Sophia Sandström, Project Coordinator, HydroHub, WMO