IT carbon emissions set to rocket

IT carbon emissions set to rocket

Production of CO2 will increase five-fold by 2050 if action is not taken

The carbon emissions produced by the use and manufacture of IT will grow five-fold over the coming decades if the industry fails to embrace green practices.

And the CO2 footprint from consumer electronics will increase six-fold if current trends remain steady, according to today's report from trade association Intellect.

But the situation is not all bad. The Confederation of British Industry goal to improve energy efficiency in electronics by 30 per cent before 2030 could be met by 2010, says Intellect.

The technology sector is already embracing change, according to director general John Higgins.

"Improving efficiency isn't enough, we have to find ways to completely decouple economic growth from energy consumption," said Higgins.

"This is not an either or scenario – we have to do both."

Intellect is working with scientists at the University of Warwick to develop a mechanism that will help quantify IT-related carbon emissions. The group is also developing a web-based tool that will help consumers compare the efficiency information of different technology products.

The full report is available online here.