Smart 2020 - US Addendum - Information and Communications Technology Can Enable Up to 22 Percent Reduction in U.S. Carbon Emissions in 2020

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Smart 2020 - US Addendum - Information and Communications Technology Can Enable Up to 22 Percent Reduction in U.S. Carbon Emissions in 2020

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on behalf of Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) has just published the US addendum to the Smart 2020 report which provides an analysis of the impact that Information and communications technology (ICT) has the potential to cut total carbon dioxide emissions in the United States by 13 to 22 percent by 2020, delivering gross energy and fuel savings of $140 billion to $240 billion, and reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil by up to 36 percent.

To achieve the results outlined in the new report, BCG and GeSI recommend that the U.S. government commit itself to four overarching policies to accelerate adoption of IT-enabled opportunities:

  • Publicly recognize the important role that the ICT sector can play in the National Energy Efficiency Strategy
  • Build a national "center of excellence" to establish standards and metrics for CO2 emissions, consolidate and validate data, coordinate public-private collaboration, and share best practices
  • Encourage the ubiquitous deployment of broadband, since connectivity will be the backbone of all ICT solutions
  • Create market mechanisms that reward energy efficiency and emissions reduction by monetizing carbon emissions

In addition, BCG and GeSI recommend specific policy measures that together could contribute to an annual reduction of 0.8 to 1.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020. These recommendations address four main opportunities:

1. A smart electrical grid that could reduce CO2 emissions by 230 to 480 million metric tons (mmt) of carbon dioxide equivalents and save $15 billion to $35 billion in energy and fuel costs

2. More efficient road transportation that could reduce travel time and congestion while shaving off 240 to 440 mmt of CO2 emissions and saving $65 billion to $115 billion

3. Energy-efficient smart buildings that could abate 270 to 360 mmt of CO2 and save $40 billion to $50 billion

4. Travel substitution through virtual meetings and flexible work arrangements that could reduce CO2 by 70 to 130 mmt and save $20 billion to $40 billion

Copies of the “Smart 2020: United States Report Addendum” and the original “Smart 2020” report can be downloaded at www.smart2020.org.

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