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BT report shows potential of ICT to help EU take climate action and achieve its COP21 targets

23 May 2016

We’ve launched a new report - “The role of ICT in reducing carbon emissions in the EU” - highlighting the central role Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could play in combating climate change and promoting economic growth and prosperity across the European Union.

The report comes at a crucial time. Last December, at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) summit in Paris, nations agreed to work to limiting global temperature increases to well below 2°C. Yet experts predict that if carbon output continues at the current rate, governments will fall short of that target, with temperatures increasing by at least 2.7°C.

Our new report shows how ICT enabled solutions can reduce EU carbon emissions by over 1.5 Gt CO2e in 2030. This is a saving equivalent to almost 19 times the size of the expected footprint of the EU’s ICT sector in 2030, or 37% of the EU’s total emissions in 2012.

ICT Report

Launching the report, BT’s President of Government & Public Affairs, Larry Stone, said:

“Just one month ago the EU and governments worldwide met to sign the COP21 Paris Agreement to take action to limit temperature increases to well under 2°C. BT recognises that, by enabling the digital transformation of our economies and large scale energy efficiencies, ICT has the potential to help reduce carbon emissions both substantially and at speed.

Key findings of the report include:

  • ICT has the potential to facilitate in 2030 a reduction in emissions equal to 37% of the EU’s total emissions in 2012
  • The ICT sector could generate new revenue to the tune of €678 billion and cost savings of €643 billion
  • The majority of gains (53%) that can be driven by ICT are in improving energy efficiency.

The report also found that smart manufacturing, smart buildings, and smart energy are potentially the most promising ICT-enabled carbon reduction solutions, accounting for almost 74% of potential carbon savings analysed within the report.

The report also revealed how European countries are at different stages of readiness to instigate ICT-driven carbon reduction solutions, with the UK and Germany of the larger countries being in a leading position to implement such measures. It indicates that France could reap economic benefit from ICT equivalent to over €191 billion, and Italy and Spain could generate €117 and €113 billion respectively in sustainable economic growth through ICT-enabled carbon reductions.

Larry Stone added: “Increased use of ICT solutions could help ensure the European Union meets its carbon emissions reduction targets. They are also an important enabler for the circular economy. This potential gain from digitisation of industry and governments, and how we all work and consume, is important for all our futures”.

Download the report here
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