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Johannes Leon Kirnberger — Researcher Highlight

Johannes Leon Kirnberger co-leads the program on climate action and biodiversity preservation at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and the International Centre of Expertise in Montreal on AI (CEIMIA). He is also a consultant on AI and sustainability at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Johannes is a member of the UNEP Expert Group on Digital Tech for Circular Economy, where he co-develops a digital transformation roadmap for catalyzing digital technologies to accelerate a circular economy. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from ESCP Business School, a Master’s degree on International Public Management from Sciences Po, and a Master’s degree in International Affairs, Energy and Environment from Columbia University.

His research addresses the implications of the green and digital twin transition on public policy and governance, in particular the direct and indirect environmental impact of artificial intelligence and the opportunities of AI applications for climate action and biodiversity preservation. He co-authored the 2022 joint OECD/GPAI paper on the environmental footprint of AI (see above). presented at COP27. He also contributed to the Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital age of the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES), and to GPAI reports on Climate Change & AI and Biodiversity & AI. His master thesis at Columbia University addressed the implications of policies and governance for ethical AI algorithms, which recommended the incorporation of DEI efforts, auditing, training, and model card use to monitor algorithms.

In addition to his research, Johannes is a committee member on metrics and indicators at the IEEE Standards Association Planet Positive 2030 initiative, where he co-authored a sustainability roadmap and impact assessment framework for the sustainable design of technology. He co-chairs the working group on AI and sustainability at the Foundation of German Business (SdW), advises German SMEs on sustainability strategy, and is a member of the working group on climate and sustainability at the German AI Association. He has previously developed projects for the responsible adoption of AI for the environment as an Affiliate at the Future Society, and volunteers as a student mentor at Bucerius Law School to bridge environmental law, public policy, and technology governance.


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