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Opportunities and Risks of Digitalization for Climate Protection in Switzerland


Hilty, Lorenz; Bieser, Jan (2017). Opportunities and Risks of Digitalization for Climate Protection in Switzerland. Zurich: University of Zurich.

Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an important enabler for a low-carbon economy in Switzerland. ICT has the potential to avoid up to 3.37 times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than the amount of emissions caused by the production, operation and disposal of ICT devices and infrastructures used in Switzerland in 2025. In absolute terms, ICT will enable the Swiss economy to save up to 6.99 Mt CO2-equivalents (CO2e) per year, with an own carbon footprint of 2.08 Mt CO2e per year.
This opportunity for the ICT sector to contribute to climate protection, however, can only be realized under optimistic assumptions. In particular, it is necessary that the existing technological and economic potentials are systematically exploited by taking ambitious and targeted actions. Such actions can be especially effective in the transportation, building and energy sectors, which have the highest potential for ICT-enabled (“smart”) solutions to reduce GHG emissions. At the same time, the carbon footprint of the ICT sector itself must be reduced by 17%, which is technologically and economically feasible due to efficiency gains.

Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an important enabler for a low-carbon economy in Switzerland. ICT has the potential to avoid up to 3.37 times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than the amount of emissions caused by the production, operation and disposal of ICT devices and infrastructures used in Switzerland in 2025. In absolute terms, ICT will enable the Swiss economy to save up to 6.99 Mt CO2-equivalents (CO2e) per year, with an own carbon footprint of 2.08 Mt CO2e per year.
This opportunity for the ICT sector to contribute to climate protection, however, can only be realized under optimistic assumptions. In particular, it is necessary that the existing technological and economic potentials are systematically exploited by taking ambitious and targeted actions. Such actions can be especially effective in the transportation, building and energy sectors, which have the highest potential for ICT-enabled (“smart”) solutions to reduce GHG emissions. At the same time, the carbon footprint of the ICT sector itself must be reduced by 17%, which is technologically and economically feasible due to efficiency gains.

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Additional indexing

Contributors:Miro Meyer de Stadelhofen
Item Type:Published Research Report
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:24 Oct 2017 08:49
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 03:02
Publisher:University of Zurich
Number of Pages:62
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://www.swisscom.ch/content/dam/swisscom/en/about/company/sustainability/climate-protection/documents/digitalization-climate-protection-switzerland-gesamtstudie.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.ifi.uzh.ch/en/isr/news/news/Study-Digitalization-Climate-Protection-Published.html (Organisation)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:15208

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