Technological development in our days has reached unprecedented scale and speed. Just one of todays standard tablet devices possesses the equivalent processing power of over 5,000 desktop computers from the mid-1980s. Storing 1GB of data in 1997 would have cost more than $10,000 a year; today it costs approximately $0.03. Unprecedented progress has been made in other areas of science and technology. The World Economic Forum has termed this period and its consequences on society as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The economic activity of a man, which began to grow fast the mid-20th century, had a significant impact on the environment. Deforestation, air pollution, extinction of various animal species, as well as other negative processes still continue. Moreover, due to the sharp increase in the world population and growth of consuming capacity, the trends mentioned above only accelerated. For example, the loss of tree cover in the area about the size of New Zealand in 2016 was 51% higher than in 2015.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not only transforming social networks, scientific research and whole industries, it is also radically reshaping biological and material science innovations. There are technologies that can meet needs of the population, reducing, at the same time, the burden on the environment. As a result, new opportunities appear to solve environmental problems.
The main purpose of this Report is to demonstrate the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and, thereby, to stimulate further development in this field in order to protect the environment.