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ICT sector to lead the way on climate and energy targets, says European Commission

European Commission - IP/09/1498   09/10/2009

Other available languages: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL CS ET HU LT LV MT PL SK SL BG RO

IP/09/1498

Brussels, 9 October 2009

ICT sector to lead the way on climate and energy targets, says European Commission

The European Commission today called on Europe's information and communication technologies (ICT) industry to outline by 2011 the practical steps it will take to become 20% more energy efficient by 2015. ICT equipment and services alone account for about 8% of electrical power used in the EU and about 2% of carbon emissions. But using ICT in a smart way could help reducing energy consumption in energy-hungry sectors such as buildings, transport and logistics, and save 15% in total carbon emissions by 2020 . The Commission recommends that the ICT sector adopts bold energy efficiency targets by 2011. It also asks EU countries to agree on common specifications for smart metering by the end of 2010 .

" Making better use of innovative ICT solutions will help us meet Europe's objectives of a low-carbon economy. The ICT sector can show the way to a more sustainable, environmental-friendly growth and give a boost to green jobs in Europe," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. " We must seize the chance to lead the way in energy-efficient technologies – not only because it is the best way to achieve sustainable cuts in CO2 emissions, but because the ecological potential of these technologies can open up new business opportunities for European ICT companies."

The Commission today adopted a recommendation saying the ICT sector should lead the transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy. The Commission calls on the ICT sector to agree on common methodologies for measuring energy consumption and carbon emissions by 2010. As a result, more reliable data should be available to set ambitious sector targets for energy efficiency and emission cuts by 2011. These sector targets should aim overtaking the EU's 2020 targets already by 2015.

Addressing EU Member States and the ICT sector, today's Commission recommendation aims to unlock energy efficiency potential through more public-private partnership initiatives, like the ones recently launched by the Commission on energy efficient buildings and green cars ( IP/09/1116 ), but also through partnerships between the ICT industry and defined strategic sectors. In particular, the buildings, transport and logistics sectors are identified as key economic sectors where energy efficiency through the use of ICT is still largely untapped.

The Commission also asked EU countries to use ICT-based solutions to improve energy efficiency. Smart grids and smart metering systems can improve production efficiency and control, and the distribution and consumption of energy. EU Member States have until the end of 2010 to agree on a common specification for smart metering to provide consumers with better information and help them manage their energy consumption. With smart metering in their homes, for example, consumers could reduce their energy consumption by as much as 10%. A timeframe for the roll out of smart metering in European households should be agreed at the latest by the end of 2012.

Other examples of the ecological potential of ICTs mentioned in the text adopted by the Commission today: if Europe were to replace only 20% of all business trips by video conferencing this could save more than 22 million tons of CO2 per year. Also, the roll-out of broadband networks facilitating an increased use of online public services and applications could save at least 1–2% of total energy use worldwide by 2020.

Today's recommendation urges public administrations of EU Member States at national, regional and local levels to make better use of ICT tools for energy simulation and modelling, including in the training of professionals in buildings, transports and logistics sectors. They can also boost the take up of more energy efficient technology by making it a part of public procurement programmes.

The Commission recommendation results from a public survey completed in September 2009 that confirmed the need for a coordinated approach by the ICT sector to improve its energy and environmental performance and the importance of common commitments to meet the targets set.

Background

On 10 January 2007, the Commission adopted an energy and climate change package, endorsed by the European Parliament and by EU leaders at the March 2007 European Council, targeting a 20% reduction both in total primary energy consumption and in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2020, while increasing the share of renewable energy use to 20% by 2020 ( IP/07/29 ). On 13 May 2008, the Commission announced that it would promote the role of ICT in meeting these goals by improving energy efficiency throughout the economy ( IP/08/733 ). In December 2008, the EU reiterated its commitment to meeting these targets and stressed the urgency of improving energy efficiency ( IP/08/1998 ). In March 2009, the Commission adopted a Communication on mobilising ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy highlighting ICT as one of the main enablers that will help reduce the carbon emissions across the board ( IP/09/393 ).

Commissioner Reding already stressed the important 'green' potential of ICT in her Digital Europe speech ( SPEECH/ 09/336 ) saying: " I firmly believe that Digital Europe cannot afford to turn a blind eye to its ecological potential, which in turn can open up new business opportunities for European ICT companies ".

Today's Recommendation is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/sustainable_growth/energy_efficiency/

Annex

Greenhouse gas emissions in CO 2   equivalents (excluding carbon sinks) compared with Kyoto Protocol targets for 2008–12

MEMBER STATE

1990

Kyoto Protocol
base year
1)

2007

Change 2006–2007

Change 2006–2007

Change 1990-2007

Change base year–2007

Targets 2008–12 under Kyoto Protocol and "EU burden sharing"

(million tonnes)

(million tonnes)

(million tonnes)

(million tonnes)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Austria

79,0

79,0

88,0

-3,6

-3,9%

11,3%

11,3%

-13,0%

Belgium

143,2

145,7

131,3

-5,3

-3,9%

-8,3%

-9,9%

-7,5%

Denmark

69,1

69,3

66,6

-4,4

-6,2%

-3,5%

-3,9%

-21,0%

Finland

70,9

71,0

78,3

-1,6

-2,0%

10,6%

10,3%

0,0%

France

562,6

563,9

531,1

-10,6

-2,0%

-5,6%

-5,8%

0,0%

Germany

1215,2

1232,4

956,1

-23,9

-2,4%

-21,3%

-22,4%

-21,0%

Greece

105,6

107,0

131,9

3,8

2,9%

24,9%

23,2%

25,0%

Ireland

55,4

55,6

69,2

-0,5

-0,7%

25,0%

24,5%

13,0%

Italy

516,3

516,9

552,8

-10,2

-1,8%

7,1%

6,9%

-6,5%

Luxembourg

13,1

13,2

12,9

-0,39

-2,9%

-1,6%

-1,9%

-28,0%

Netherlands

212,0

213,0

207,5

-1,0

-0,5%

-2,1%

-2,6%

-6,0%

Portugal

59,3

60,1

81,8

-2,9

-3,4%

38,1%

36,1%

27,0%

Spain

288,1

289,8

442,3

9,3

2,1%

53,5%

52,6%

15,0%

Sweden

71,9

72,2

65,4

-1,5

-2,2%

-9,1%

-9,3%

4,0%

United Kingdom

771,1

776,3

636,7

-11,2

-1,7%

-17,4%

-18,0%

-12,5%

EU-15

4232,9

4265,5

4052,0

-64,0

-1,6%

-4,3%

-5,0%

-8,0%

Bulgaria

117,7

132,6

75,5

4,2

5,9%

-35,8%

-43,0%

-8,0%

Cyprus

5,5

5,5

10,1

0,2

1,6%

85,3%

Not applicable

Not applicable

Czech Republic

194,7

194,2

150,8

1,7

1,2%

-22,5%

-22,4%

-8,0%

Estonia

41,9

42,6

22,0

2,8

14,8%

-47,5%

-48,3%

-8,0%

Hungary

99,2

115,4

75,9

-2,9

-3,7%

-23,5%

-34,2%

-6,0%

Latvia

26,7

25,9

12,1

0,4

3,5%

-54,7%

-53,4%

-8,0%

Lithuania

49,1

49,4

24,7

1,9

8,1%

-49,6%

-49,9%

-8,0%

Malta

2,0

2,0

3,0

0,07

2,3%

45,7%

Not applicable

Not applicable

Poland

459,5

563,4

398,9

-0,4

-0,1%

-13,2%

-29,2%

-6,0%

Romania

243,0

278,2

152,3

-1,6

-1,0%

-37,3%

-45,3%

-8,0%

Slovakia

73,3

72,1

47,0

-2,0

-4,1%

-35,9%

-34,8%

-8,0%

Slovenia

18,6

20,4

20,7

0,2

0,7%

11,6%

1,8%

-8,0%

EU-27

5564,0

5759,8

5045,1

-59,4

-1,2%

-9,3%

-12.5%

Not applicable

Source: European Environment Agency

Voluntary ICT Sector commitments to targets and deadlines for CO 2 and Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG), and energy efficiency/consumption

Companies

Target reduction %

Baseline *

Target date

Comment

Alcatel–Lucent

10

2007

2010

CO 2 emissions of facilities

Advanced Micro Devices Inc

33

2006

2012

GHG emissions per manufacturing index

Bell Canada

15

Not given

2012

GHG emissions

British Tele-

Communications

Plc

80

1996

2020

CO 2 emissions per unit of contribution to GDP

Cisco Systems

25

2007

2012

GHG emissions

Dell

Additional 15

Not given

2012

Operational carbon intensity

Deutsche

Telekom AG

20

2006

2020

CO 2 emissions

Ericsson

15 - 20

2006

2008

Energy efficiency

France Telecom

20

2006

2020

CO 2 emissions

Hewlett-Packard

16 - 40

2005

2010-2011

Energy consumption and GHG emissions for operations and products

IBM

7

2005

2012

GHG emissions

Intel

20

30

2007

2004

2012

2010

Carbon footprint

GHG emissions per production unit

Motorola

6

2000

2010

CO 2 emissions

Nokia

6

2006

2012

Energy consumption of offices and sites

Nokia Siemens Networks

20 - 49

2007

2009-2010

Energy consumption of products

Sun Microsystems Inc.

20

2007

2015

GHG emissions

Telecom Italia

30 % increase

2007

2008

Eco-efficiency indicator

Vodafone Plc

50

2006/2007

2020

CO 2 emissions

European Union (all

sectors)

20

20

1990

Projected energy use in 2020

2020

2020

CO 2 emissions

Energy savings/

efficiency

* The baseline is the year in relation to which the reduction/improvement target is set.

Source : SMART 2020: 'Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age' (company commitments), Appendix 4, p.75

A report by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI), GeSI [www.gesi.org] is an international strategic partnership of ICT companies and industry associations and EPA Climate Change Leaders Partnership website: http://www.epa.gov/climateleaders/partners/index.html


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