By 2030, the internet could be responsible for almost a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions:
more thought must be given to the dual role of technology as a solution and potential contributor to its worst effects.
A report from some five years ago looked at how much energy we are wasting – which suggests that today we are wasting even more:
John Harris made the same point two years ago:
The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry…
Here’s a very simple solution:
Stamp out standby
This one’s simple: turn it off. Increase the lifespan of your gadgets, reduce your carbon footprint, and cut your electricity bills, just by stamping out standby.
UK households spend between 9% and 16% of their annual electricity bills on ‘standby’ energy, costing each household £50 to £86 a year.1 By switching off appliances at the socket you can sleep better knowing you’re saving money and energy, little bit by bit.
With a handy guide here:
And, yes, it’s going to save you money:
Is a smart plug the answer? It depends:
Another answer could be ‘The Internet of Things’:
A better understanding of how our homes operate, and the ability to tweak those settings, could help save energy — by cutting heating costs, for example.
And then there is the internet of waste – where technology might indeed be able to help solve the problems it’s created:
By 2030, the internet could be responsible for almost a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we are to reach our ambitions for a greener, more digitalised European economy, policymakers and the tech sector will have work together to better understand and mitigate the unique sustainability challenges of the internet and emerging technologies like IoT and AI. As governments across the globe are beginning to reckon with the looming climate emergency and prepare far-reaching environmental legislation, such as the European Green Deal, more thought must be given to the dual role of technology as a solution and potential contributor to its worst effects.
There are also ‘green deal’ initiatives happening in the UK:
With an interesting look at the challenges to such initiatives:
There are of course a lot of things we can do as individuals and in households:
But perhaps it’s easier if we are connected with a community of others taking similar action: