Information and Communication Technologies = Green Technologies

With the largest environmental catastrophe in the history of the US on-going, could there be a better time for making progress toward a smarter, greener future.

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) have reshaped our world. Today, 4 billion people have mobile phones, we connect to the internet to communicate, network, learn, work, play, and socialize. It is projected that by 2020, we’ll be 8 billion connected online, with perhaps 50 billion machine-to-machine connections. 

The Climate Group (on behalf of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), with independent analysis by McKinsey & Company) produced the ‘SMART 2020’ Report that shows how ICT could reduce global emissions from all sectors 15% by 2020.

From cell phones and mobile devices to the internet, ICT continue to accelerate the pace of innovative everyday products and services, and to accelerate the potential to impact global warming.  ICT can and is improving ICT emissions and efficiencies, and ICT can enable other sectors to drive sustainable change, create efficiencies, facilitate information flow, and build intelligent system. Specifically, the ICT-enabled opportunities with the highest potential are: Smart Grid, Road Transportation, Smart Buildings and Travel Substitution.

According to the SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age. United States Report Addendum, ICT enabled solutions cumulatively could reduce annual CO2 emissions in the U.S. by 13–22% from business-as-usual projections for 2020. This would be equivalent to gross energy and fuel savings of $140-240 billion dollars.

A new report by the Department of Commerce shows that manufacturing was responsible for 25%of total CO2 emissions in 2006, down 30% from 1998, and that while some sub-sectors and companies have become much more efficient in the amount of emissions produced; others have become less so

We need to all get onboard.

Recommended Reading:
SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age. United States Report Addendum – BCG & GeSi
Pathways to Scale – Read a summary of key case studies, lessons learnt, and recommendations, The Climate Group.

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Intensities Over Time – US DOC
U.S. energy savings: Opportunities and challenges – McKinsey&Company
The Beginning of the End of Our Oil Addiction – The Climate Group
As Oil Spill Tragedy Continues, Clean Energy Progress in Missouri and Georgia Points to Hope for the Future – Apollo Alliance
Powering consumers with information about their energy use – Google Public Policy Blog
Smart Grid Will Be Bigger Than the Internet, Says Cisco (Video) – Tree Hugger
What Will an Electric Vehicle-Ready Smart Grid Infrastructure Look Like? – Fast Company
Energy Dept. invests $100M in Smart Grid education – GreenBeat
SMART 2020 Report Summary – The Climate Group, on behalf of the GeSI, with independent analysis by McKinsey & Company

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