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Recommendation on mobilising ICT to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Policy/Legislation: 14/03/2013
The aim of this Recommendation is a) to establish transparency in measuring the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the global ICT sector and b) to ensure that EU ICT policies are fully coherent with national, local and regional approaches to making the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy.

Date of release

09 October 2009

What is the Recommendation about?

This Recommendation requests that the ICT industry:

  • commit to a progressive and transparently measurable decarbonisation process
  • participate through its associations, in relevant initiatives by the European Commission with the aim to establish a common methodological framework for measuring the energy intensity and carbon emissions of the sector.

To achieve these goals, the ICT industry should establish a close cooperation with energy intensive industries, notably the buildings and construction, transport, and logistics industries (where ICT can significantly improve their energy and environmental performance),

EU Member States are recommended to take measures (e.g. coordination, procurement, training) to promote:

  • the decarbonisation of ICT goods and services and
  • the roll-out of ICT-based solutions (notably smart meters and smart grids) for monitoring, managing and measuring energy-use and carbon emissions in various sectors of the economy.

Relevant timelines are proposed for the above actions.

Background of Recommendation

Energy use by ICT equipment and services represents about 8% of electrical power in the EU, and about 2% of carbon emissions. The establishment of transparency in measuring the energy and environmental footprint of the ICT-sector will

  • empower citizens and businesses to make greener (i.e. more sustainable) and eventually cheaper choices when they buy or use digital technologies
  • help us control the global climate change by reducing the environmental impact of the ICT industry
  • potentially contribute to reducing the environmental effect of other sectors (e.g. transport, buildings etc). The wide-scale roll-out of ICT-based solutions (notably smart metering and smart grids) for monitoring, managing and measuring energy-use and carbon emissions in energy-using activities can maximise energy savings in the above sectors.

Find the text of the Recommendation here.