Wednesday, 28 January 2009

EU to Launch New Green ICT Plan

According to Euractiv, the European Commission is planning to launch an action plan in March aimed at boosting the role of ICT in greening the EU.

The article quotes McKinsey's estimates (which we reported here) that some specific ICT opportunities could lead to emissions reductions of five times the ICT sector's own emissions, or 15% of total BAU (business as usual) emissions by 2020. The EU is looking for these sorts of reductions to help it achieve its environmental targets.

Much of the McKinsey gains are from the deployment of smart technologies, which represents a huge opportunity for the ICT sector in Europe. The article also points out that the EU assembly's industry committee is also looking to boost green public procurement, with mandatory energy efficiency standards.

This is interesting because it's a real indication of potential investment in ICT to reduce carbon emissions across an economy. The EU, UK and the US all have, or are likely to have soon, very ambitious carbon emissions targets with no real indication as to how the targets can be achieved. When push comes to shove governments will have to commit to investing in significant 'green' infrastructure to make it work. They will also need to set an example through their own actions. This is a significant part of the huge opportunity for ICT companies in the coming years. Those with good experience of public sector projects (a decreasing number in the UK) will have a real head start.

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