IT Industry Failing to Deliver Climate Change Solutions - RePress

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Friday, May 29

IT Industry Failing to Deliver Climate Change Solutions

The IT industry has massive potential to cut green house gas emissions but is currently failing to deliver, according to the first results of the Greenpeace Cool IT Challenge. (1)


The IT industry has calculated it could make cuts of more than 15 per cent in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (2) but Greenpeace New Zealand communications manager Suzette Jackson said most companies were falling well short of that target, as shown in results released today at the IT, Environment and Climate Change conference (3) in Copenhagen.


“The majority of IT companies talk big about “going green” rather than giving real evidence of how their software and hardware is actually reducing emissions. It is time they delivered real evidence of their solutions in action.”


The Greenpeace Cool IT Challenge, launched in February this year, asked major IT companies to take action prioritising issues around climate change in 2009. (4)


In addition to cutting its own emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy, the industry was asked to deliver climate solutions for the rest of the economy in areas such as electricity transmission, transport and building efficiency. Greenpeace is calling on the industry to take action, which it says will help influence world leaders to deliver a climate-saving deal at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December. (5)


“Time is running out. IT Industry leaders are in a position to take a strong stand on tackling climate change. While governments across the globe are debating climate policy, it is disappointing that innovative IT companies who stand to profit handsomely from tech solutions that reduce GHGs are sitting on the fence.”


The Greenpeace challenge has revealed some positive results. Sun Microsystems has publically called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and a cut of at least 25 percent below by 2020. Greenpeace is urging other IT companies to match these targets. IBM jointly holds the top spot with Sun, mainly due to its wide range of solutions. Additionally, Fujitsu stands out as a company openly addressing the need to measure "net" emissions reductions that result from solutions they propose for the rest of the economy. But, leading names such as HP, Microsoft and Sony amongst other IT giants scored less that 15 out of the maximum of 100. (6)


Like the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (7), the Cool IT Challenge will be updated regularly. The second version is expected later year.


Greenpeace recently launched the Sign On campaign, which aims to get as many New Zealanders as possible supporting John Key to do the right thing at Copenhagen in December. See www.signon.org.nz for more details.
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