Digital in the climate trap

Were you ashamed to fly? Soon you might feel guilty about using the internet. The global digital ecosystem is responsible for 2% to 4% – according to studies – of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. It emits between 15 million and 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) per year, up to twice as much as air transport. After the feeling of “avihonte” of Swedish origin, the scruples to “like” will arise in France, where no less than three “anti-carbon” laws targeting digital technology entered into force on 1is January 2022?

This new regulatory arsenal makes it possible to hold digital companies to account for their carbon footprint. “For an email weighted with a heavy attachment, that’s 20 grams of CO2 which are issued, ie as much as 150 meters traveled by car ”, indicates Guillaume Pitron, author of Digital Hell. Travel at the end of a like (The links that free, 2021). With 10 billion electronic messages sent per hour around the world, this is equivalent to 50 gigawatts, or the electricity production of fifteen nuclear power plants per hour!

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “For Emmanuel Macron, the ecological transition is above all a technological transition”

Three quarters of digital pollution currently comes from the manufacture of terminals such as – in the order of their carbon footprint – televisions, laptops, smartphones, Internet boxes, screens and game consoles. Containing about fifty metals, a smartphone does not weigh 150 grams, but 150 kilos – what Mr. Pitron calls “The ecological backpack”. The first to be singled out are the Gafam (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft), but the hundreds of thousands of digital service companies that exist in the world – including 28,000 identified in France – are also targeted. by these laws, as well as a thousand telecom operators. Ecological regulatory pressure is now on.

Since the 1is January, the French telecoms regulator is also responsible for the environmental regulation of digital. The law promulgated on December 23, 2021 grants Arcep new power over all players in the digital ecosystem in France. The authority must collect their environmental footprint from them. The target is telecom operators, whose data collection began in 2020, but also online services, hosting providers, data centers, cloud providers, terminal manufacturers (primarily smartphones) and editors of digital systems. ‘operation. “We must be able to obtain environmental data from Amazon Web Services, Google, Apple or Microsoft, which have digital and cloud activities in France”, warns Laure de La Raudière, president of Arcep.

You have 76.47% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.