A report launched today by global communications company BT - “The Role for ICT in Reducing Carbon Emissions in the UK” - highlights a pathway to meeting the UK Government’s carbon reduction targets and provides help towards the Government’s commitments to the COP21 Paris Agreement, through ICT-driven solutions.
The report outlines the increasing role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency, including virtualising services through the cloud, connected transportation and smart manufacturing.
The UK Government is currently deciding policies to meet the Fourth and Fifth Carbon Budgets and this report shows the significant role ICT can play in supporting carbon reduction. It highlights how implementing ICT strategies can help reduce UK carbon emissions by 24 per cent annually by 2030. Additional benefits the research highlights include:
- Savings would be 12 times the carbon footprint of the ICT sector itself
- The total volume of carbon reduction effected through ICT solutions is 122Mt CO2e, the equivalent of taking 26 million passenger cars off the road
- Increasing the role of ICT will create £122 billion in economic value - £58.5 billion from cost savings
The report also found £1.3 billion could be yielded in space savings and enhanced health services through e-Health opportunities available to 19.9 million people across the country.
Launching the report, BT chief sustainability officer, Niall Dunne, said: “The UK has always taken a leading role in ensuring we tackle climate change effectively, and our strong credentials in ICT can help ensure we continue to do so.
“The ICT industry has been at the forefront of innovation for the past three decades.We have the opportunity now to make it the forefront of the global battle against climate change, and help the UK reach its 2030 targets and beyond.”
Globally ICT has a significant impact to make on meeting climate change targets.According to the SMARTer2030 report released in June 2015 by GeSI, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative of which BT is a member, ICT could enable a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 worldwide.
Niall Dunne added: “It is clear there is a significant opportunity for the ICT sector to help move the world closer to achieving its carbon targets. Whether these benefits will be realised depends on the collective actions of government, business and consumers – they hold the key to unlocking the potential of ICT.”