Millions Face Climate Risks. NGOs and AI Can Step Up.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 3.6 billion people live in areas vulnerable to climate change impacts. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to be a powerful tool in tackling climate change, the root cause of many natural disasters.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have a long history of aiding communities before, during, and after natural disasters. Their deep understanding of local challenges makes them essential, and AI tools can enhance their missions. 
  • The climate imperative: The growing climate crisis demands stronger NGO strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR). NGOs play a vital role in both preventing and responding to climate-related disasters.
  • Together with AWS and, we launched the AI for Changemakers program, which will empower 100+ nonprofits from 5 impact areas, including Climate and Disaster Management with AI competencies and pro-bono AI tools development. Find out more!


Discover some inspiring use cases for AI in climate and disaster management

The frequency and intensity of natural disasters linked to climate change have put greater pressure on NGOs to improve their disaster risk reduction and response. This article explores ten key ways AI is empowering NGOs to address climate change and improve natural disaster management strategies. We’ve compiled the most promising use cases to date:


  • The Red Cross has effectively used AI to analyze risk factors, significantly enhancing their preparedness for rapid response during crises. This forward-thinking approach not only minimizes the impact of disasters but also ensures that resources are strategically deployed where they are needed most, optimizing both time and effort in emergency situations.


  • Monitoring deforestation and illegal logging. Space Intelligence based in Edinburgh, Scotland, uses computer vision across 30 countries and has mapped more than 1 million hectares of land from space using satellite data.


  • Climate risk assessment and adaptation planning. AI technology like the IKI Project has shown that it can predict weather patterns, helping communities and authorities  to better plan how to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impact.


  • NGOs like Rescue Global leverage AI to simulate flooding events, which helps them strategize evacuations and implement effective flood defenses. By using AI to model potential flood scenarios, these organizations can plan and execute more precise and effective interventions, reducing potential damage and saving lives.


  • Optimizing recyclable and waste systems. Startups like Greyparrot, have developed an AI system that analyzes waste processing and recycling facilities to help them recover and recycle more waste material. The company tracked 32 billion waste items across 67 waste categories in 2022, and says it identifies 86 tons of material on average that could be recoverable but is instead sent to landfills.


  • During the California wildfires, drones equipped with AI technologies provided critical real-time data to firefighters. This advanced technology enabled them to target firefighting efforts more strategically and effectively, enhancing their ability to combat the fires and protect communities.


  • Following Hurricane Laura, AI tools were used to swiftly analyze satellite imagery and assess infrastructural damage. This accelerated the recovery process by ensuring that resources were directed to the areas with the most significant damage, thereby facilitating quicker and more efficient rebuilding efforts.


  • AI can analyze financial transactions and identify patterns that might indicate fraud in the distribution of humanitarian aid. This ensures resources reach those who truly need them. While there are scant case studies about AI in preventing humanitarian aid fraud, the problems around aid diversion are becoming more transparent, and there are tons of use cases for AI in fraud detection in the commercial sector.


  • And finally, people often forget that OpenAI, the organization behind ChatGPT, is a non-profit/corporate hybrid. NGOs are already using Generative AI tools like Claude, Gemini and ChatGPT to analyze social media data and track the reach and impact of NGO campaigns. By employing chatbots or using pre-trained models for fundraising in the future, NGOs can refine their messaging and demonstrate the effectiveness of their work to donors and supporters.


Have an idea for your next AI project, but not sure where to start?

AI is rapidly transforming how NGOs address climate change and natural disasters. From predicting extreme weather events to optimizing resource allocation during emergencies, AI offers a powerful toolkit for these organizations. By leveraging AI’s analytical prowess and real-time data processing, NGOs can become more proactive in preventing disasters, as well as significantly improve response and recovery efforts. This technological revolution holds immense promise for building a more resilient future in the face of climate challenges.

In collaboration with AWS and, we have launched the AI for Changemakers Accelerator Program, which will empower 100+ nonprofits from 5 impact areas with AI.

Find out more about the program and apply to participate in an impact cohort here.

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