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The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) recently released a report that analyzed the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector's impact on world climate. According to the study, ICT’s own sector footprint is currently 2% of global energy use and global emissions are expected to almost double by 2020.
And what about the other 98% you say? The study suggest that the sector’s unique ability to monitor and maximize energy efficiency both within and outside of its own sector could help cut CO2 emissions by up to five times this amount. This represents a saving of 7.8 Giga-tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2020 – greater than the current annual emissions of either the US or China.
This study serves as both inspiration and validation for our beliefs that technology innovation, specifically software, has the potential to drive massive environmental change. We cannot forget about the 2% and Microsoft is committed to helping drive this down by providing power management features in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems.
There's clearly much work and innovation ahead for all of us in the journey to sustainability. The full report can be downloaded at: www.smart2020.org .