More connectivity and less carbon

More connectivity

There’s a lot of controversy lately about increased connectivity, 5G, IoT (internet of things) and AI. There’s a general worry that the way tech is advancing so rapidly will have a negative effect on society. Well here we are with some GOOD NEWS!!!

Last year alone, the use of mobile technology caused a global reduction in Greenhouse Gasses (GHG’s). With the rise of MCT (mobile communication technologies) across the globe, the levels of reduction look set to increase.

A collaborative report released by this week by the GSMA and the Carbon Trust reveals that mobile technology reduced GHG’s by approximately 2,135 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). For those of you wondering just how much that is, that’s a lot of gas; enough to power more than 70 million homes in the USA for a whole year, and fuel for all drivers in the UK to drive for 19 years!!! If that doesn’t leave your jaw wide open, the saved reduction of 2,135 tonnes, is the same amount that Russia produces on an annual basis.

Climate change is one of the pressing and potentially catastrophic issues humanity faces today. Part of the United Nations sustainable development goals is to drastically cut GHG’s by 2030. Digitalisation, if not handled implemented correctly can have a disruptive effect on the economy. If policy and investment is sufficient, this can be a driver of low carbon development.

The Carbon Trust works in cooperation with businesses around the world assisting them to cut their carbon footprint and to benefit from a more ecological and sustainable future. Tom Delay, CEO of the Carbon Trust says

“Climate change requires a collective effort across governments, businesses and civil society if we are going to succeed in limiting global temperature increases to within 1.5 degrees.”

This is something that the Mobile and Telecoms sector has a critical role to play in and are one of the most imperative solutions to help reduce GHG’s rapidly. By increasing connectivity, becoming more efficient and impacting the behavior of consumers on a large scale, mobile networks can ensure that these new technologies help avoid GHG emissions.

Not only is mobile tech one of the main solutions in cutting carbon emissions rapidly, it also has the potential to improve quality of life on a massive scale whilst supporting economic growth. In fact, emerging economies and developing countries are projected to see the highest increases in the uptake of mobile telecoms.

The total annual emissions of the mobile sector is around 0.4% of total global emissions. This is already a small amount but the good news here is that mobile innovation has the potential to drastically reduce the carbon emissions of most sectors. A rise in M2M (mobile to mobile) connectivity, IoT and 5G has the ability to transform and revolutionise climate change mitigation in the future.

Mobile communications technology is a realistic and better alternative than high carbon emissions for all sectors. Some of the sectors that stand to see dramatic reductions in the carbon footprint as a result of better connectivity are:

  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Transport
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing

Reducing carbon emissions has never been more vital and with increasing levels of connectivity it should be easier to achieve. The spillover benefits of data sharing, machine learning and higher connectivity is opening up numerous possibilities and innovative solutions for the reduction of carbon emissions of the future and can help mobile communication technology become a catalyst to transform how sectors decarbonise.