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The role of app development in climate change

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More than 5.1 billion people carry a smartphone in their pocket. And more than 7.8 billion SIM cards have been used by them, surpassing the world's population for the first time. These figures from the GSMA's annual Mobile Economy report, reported in El País, reflect the growth and interest in mobile telephony in the world. If we take advantage of this phenomenon with the creation of applications, it means that we can reach millions of people through their creation.

Many companies have launched the development of environmental apps with this objective, reaching more people to raise awareness of the urgency to act against climate change. Join us in this post, where we are going to tell you what these initiatives consist of.


what do app development and climate change have to do with each other?

Apps have been one of the most revolutionary inventions of the last 10 years. Although the first apps were oriented towards entertainment, with the famous Nokia Snake, the purpose of these systems has been expanding. Proof of this are corporate applications to facilitate contact and consultation between client and company, apps to record health data, sports methods to get in shape, etc. Millions of applications are available in the online shops of our smartphones, so that they have become part of our daily lives.

Now, taking advantage of the fact that most of us live almost permanently connected, climate change apps have been developed. We live in a state of urgency where the carbon footprint affects the whole planet. We have seen this at the end of 2019 with the celebration of the Climate Summit (COP25) in Madrid, whose main conclusions have been: "We are living in a state of urgency where the carbon footprint affects the whole planet":

  • The Chile-Madrid agreement, Time to Act has seen the light of day to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Tougher emissions cuts plans presented, but only 84 countries have committed, including Spain, France, Germany and the UK.
  • Agreement on guidelines for the Green Fund to broaden its scope of funding.

Beyond these measures, the development of apps is also playing its part in climate change mitigation. Technology has been put at the service of the environment, and in the following section we will tell you how it has done so. Join us!

7 examples of environmental apps

We are going to share with you 7 applications that demonstrate the service of technology in the service of sustainability and the care of our planet. As difficult as it may seem, apps are doing a very important job of raising awareness:

  • NEW SCIENTIST. The presentation of the effects of climate change has been made available to users, in a much more interactive way, through a map app from NewScientist.
  • CHANGERS CO2 FIT, which measures the carbon footprint of our daily activities, aims to let people know how they contribute to climate change in order to raise awareness and take action.
  • GREEN GLOBE allows you to organise sustainable trips (hotels, cruises...), everything you need to make your trips as eco-friendly as possible.
  • NASA: This app has selected a series of images that show the effects that climate change is having on the world: glaciers have shrunk, the ice on lakes and rivers is breaking up, sea levels are rising, trees are flowering earlier, animals have changed, heat waves are longer and more intense, etc.
  • NEGOTIATOR is available for iOS and Android and offers a database of news from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is responsible for combating climate change at the international level.
  • CLIMATE ADAPTATION APP: Deltares, a Dutch company, has created this app to collect climate change adaptation measures.
  • GREEN WORLD COLOURING APP: Aimed at children, it uses images and games to instil values of respect for nature, as well as some advice.

These are just 7 examples of the many applications that are being developed to help care for the environment and be more sustainable, even for children.

Technology from a different point of view

Despite the great impact of mobile applications on the care of the planet, there are more and more news that relate new technologies with the possibilities of caring for it. Normally, when we talk about technology and the environment we tend to imagine a large number of systems and devices polluting nature, but this can change. Apps are a clear example of this, as they are part of the technology sector and are having an impact on raising awareness for the care of nature.

We cannot deny that the amount of electronic devices has had a great ecological impact due to the scarcity of recycling them, but the mobile phone can also be our perfect ally to take care of the world and become aware of what we do.

These applications help to find the nearest recycling points, to know in images the effects of climate change, to compare them with other images from previous years, to help our children to understand the importance of taking care of nature, to know the measures taken in the sector, the level of pollution that each of us emit, etc.

It seems that every year more and more companies and users are committed to caring for the environment, but the risks are still very high. Caring for and protecting it is one of our unfinished business.

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