How likely are you to expect technology to help reduce emissions?

Business leaders and politicians look to the tech sector for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, mitigate the impact of climate change and provide the jobs of the future, new research reveals.

Over 85% of respondents to Salesforce’s YouGov survey Australia’s road to net zero The report says it believes technology will “play a key role in achieving the net-zero goal by 2050,” with 62% saying the role of technology will be “very important.” I’m here.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt by our Pacific neighbors, giving Australia the opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint and provide financial benefits to people in countries with much lower carbon emissions, such as Fiji and the Solomon Islands. We are asking you to do more to provide assistance.2 But there are waves at their door.

Technology and communications rank alongside energy, transport and logistics, and parts of the Australian economy are doing the most to reduce their carbon footprint towards net zero.

Industry and Science Minister Ed Fusic also echoed the sentiment on Wednesday as the government set a carbon emission target of 43% below 2005 levels by 2030, aiming to reach net zero by 2050.

Speaking at the Australian Information Industry Association’s Tech and Sustainability Conference, Husic identified the manufacturing of batteries and storage systems as an area where Australia could be globally competitive.

“Energy storage systems need your insight to develop software and battery management systems that enable effective and sustainable operation,” he said.

“A thriving technology sector is a large, skilled workforce capable of solving today’s and tomorrow’s problems, including the global challenges that have brought us here today regarding climate change and the energy transition. We need labor.”


A Salesforce survey found that shifting the economy to sustainable energy production and use is seen as an opportunity for job creation, with a majority of Australian business leaders saying a net zero economy would create more jobs. He said he thought he would create a They were less likely to share this belief (only 25%).

Talking about the importance of tech jobs in sustainable industries, Mr Husic said technology “is full of opportunities for Australia and Australians”.

“The technology industry has grown tremendously in the last decade alone, creating 100 technology companies worth more than $10 billion and becoming the seventh largest employer. One in 16 Australians is in technology I have a job in the sector,” he said.

“And this is the fact that we should push more into the minds of people outside of this field in which we have a deep interest and passion.”

Even basic digital transformation initiatives such as moving to the cloud can help the environment, as Salesforce has published estimates that moving to the cloud can reduce its carbon footprint. I can do it.

Assuming that Australian data center utilization and capacity steadily increase, and that technological advances enable cloud providers to offer more energy-efficient services, Salesforce could save 32 million tons of CO by migrating to the cloud. is estimated to be reduced.2 By 2030.

sustainable technology

However, not all technology uses are equally energy efficient, and there is a growing movement to ask engineers to be more environmentally conscious when developing software. This is something he should keep in mind as he guides the next generation of his IT workers.

The Green Software Foundation, an affiliate of the Linux Foundation and with a board made up of representatives from Microsoft, Intel, and consulting firm Accenture, is working to standardize how to calculate the carbon footprint of software systems. .

An alpha release of its Software Carbon Intensity (SCI) specification is available on Github.

SCI is the percentage of carbon emissions per unit, such as API calls, machine learning jobs, additional users on the platform, total the energy consumed by software products, multiply it by the local carbon cost of energy, add It is calculated by The amount of carbon emitted by the creation and disposal of hardware.

The Green Software Foundation’s focus on ‘reduction, not neutralization’ means that the system’s carbon costs cannot be offset with carbon credits or the like.

“A ton of carbon not emitted into the atmosphere is not the same as a ton of carbon offset,” it wrote.

“A far better goal would be to emit no carbon in the first place.”

It can add up when you consider storage, compute, networking, backup, and all the other carbon costs that contribute to making software.

However, some claims have been debunked about how much energy digital services consume.

In late 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report claiming that streaming services’ data storage, processing, and transmission accounted for 1% of global emissions. announced the removal of sudden media outrage about using carbon. .

The IEA adamantly dismisses the numbers behind that claim, saying that most of the carbon dioxide generated by watching Netflix is ​​dependent on the device you use (TVs consume a lot of electricity), data processing and He said it has little to do with the energy cost of transmission.


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