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Digitalization and Sustainability: A Call for a Digital Green Deal


Abstract

The relation between digitalization and environmental sustainability is ambiguous. There is potential of various digital technologies to slow down the transgression of planetary boundaries. Yet resource and energy demand for digital hardware production and use of data-intensive applications is of substantial size. The world over, there is no comprehensive regulation that addresses opportunities and risks of digital technology for sustainability. In this perspective article, we call for a Digital Green Deal that includes strong, cross-sectoral green digitalization policies on all levels of governance. We argue that a Digital Green Deal should first and foremost aim at greater policy coherence: Current digital policy initiatives should include measures that service environmental goals, and environmental policies must address risks and advance opportunities of digital technologies to spur sustainability transformations.

Abstract

The relation between digitalization and environmental sustainability is ambiguous. There is potential of various digital technologies to slow down the transgression of planetary boundaries. Yet resource and energy demand for digital hardware production and use of data-intensive applications is of substantial size. The world over, there is no comprehensive regulation that addresses opportunities and risks of digital technology for sustainability. In this perspective article, we call for a Digital Green Deal that includes strong, cross-sectoral green digitalization policies on all levels of governance. We argue that a Digital Green Deal should first and foremost aim at greater policy coherence: Current digital policy initiatives should include measures that service environmental goals, and environmental policies must address risks and advance opportunities of digital technologies to spur sustainability transformations.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:September 2023
Deposited On:15 Feb 2024 13:44
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1462-9011
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2023.04.020
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)