Broadband Investments Offers Path to Low-Carbon Economic Development

Global investments in broadband communication networks could forge sustainable, low-carbon economic growth, according to a paper by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

While global oil demand is projected to grow by 20% by 2030, (equivalent to using the entire U.S. strategic oil reserves in a month) a 21st century communications economy could break the link between economic growth and growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

"We are at a historic moment where nations will either enter into a contest for finite resources, where everyone is guaranteed to lose, or we can enter into a golden age of economic growth, without the serious threat of climate change, built on the enormous potential of communications,"
explains Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of CDP.

"We have the opportunity to define economic growth in the 21st century by advanced communication networks where economic opportunity is not limited by time, distance, or geography," he says.

Dickinson goes on to say that economic value will increasingly reside in "bits and bytes," rather than molecules and atoms of products and commodities. The effect would be decoupling GHG emissions from growth.

With increased competition for natural resources, the most competitive economies of the future will be those that revolutionize the way we live and work, generating increased value using fewer resources.

Investment in broadband – expanding access to next generation technology to communities across the U.S. and across the globe – has the potential to stimulate job creation and increase access to goods and services including healthcare and education while reducing GHG emissions. This is particularly true for rural communities and areas that are currently not served or underserved by broadband access.

The report shows that the average Information Communications Technology (ICT) company generates over $4,000 of net income per company for every metric ton of CO2 equivalent emitted. That’s double the Consumer Staples sector and seven times that of the Materials sector.

However, Information Communication’s greatest impact is likely to be enabling companies across industry sectors to drive energy efficiencies and transform working practices, thereby increasing their net income per metric ton of carbon ratio.

The Smart 2020 report shows that Information Communication  could help reduce emissions by an estimated 13%-22% from U.S. business and see gross energy and fuel savings of $140 billion-$240 billion. Employment in this area is predicted to increase by 450,000 jobs between 2004-2014.

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection affirms, "ICT can help customers and business to become more sustainable. By acting as the platform, ICT can be used to drive emissions reductions… instead of having people fly for a 2 or 3 hour meeting, it is much more cost effective and sustainable to have the meeting via telepresence. Telecommuting enables employees to work from home and reduces the carbon footprint."

To realize the potential GHG savings, access to broadband is critical – if devices are not reliably connected to the network they will not be adopted. Currently, 14 million people in the U.S. lack access to high speed internet.

As President Obama said in 2010, "This new era in global technology leadership will only happen if there is adequate spectrum available to support the forthcoming myriad of wireless devices, networks, and applications that can drive the new economy."

Read the report:

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 3,963 times, 5 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *