Mobiles helping to cut CO2

18th January 2016

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  • Business & Industry


Stuart Hill

Mobile communications technology saves more than 180 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions a year across Europe and the US.

This is greater than the total annual emissions of the Netherlands and five times higher than those of mobile networks themselves.

The finding comes from a Carbon Trust report for the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a partnership of information and communication technology companies.

The study also forecasts that, given current projections for the increase in deployment of machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, total annual carbon emissions abatement from mobile communications technology in Europe and the US will reach 500 million tonnes by 2020. M2M technologies are devices that can communicate automatically with each other without human intervention.

They help reduce emissions, for example, by enabling more effective monitoring and management of electricity use, heating and cooling in buildings, and by improving logistics, and vehicle use and efficiency.

Overall, 70% of current abatement comes from the use of M2M technologies in the buildings, transport and energy sectors, but some of the greatest potential savings lie in other areas, such as agriculture. In addition, mobile technology will help to unlock technological advances projected to have a significant future impact but not yet widely available, such as smart grids and driverless cars.

GeSI said were now more than 7 billion mobile connections in the world, compared with just over 2 billion in 2005. Chair Luis Neves said: “We are just at the beginning of an accelerating adoption curve, where businesses, governments and society recognise the wealth of possibilities offered by the technology to do things differently, helping us to shape a more sustainable world.”


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