Report Helps ICT Sector Set Science-Based Targets on Climate Change
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A report by the International Telecommunications Union, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, GSMA and Science-Based Targets Initiative guides companies in the information and communications technology sector on how to set climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement.

The ICT Sector trajectory calls for a 45% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030.

Sub-sector trajectories to 2030 have been developed for mobile network operators, fixed network operators, data center operators, user devices and manufacturers of ICT equipment.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), GSMA, and the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) have issued a joint report to help companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry set targets in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, to help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The report titled, ‘Guidance for ICT Companies Setting Science Based Targets,’ aims to reach companies operating mobile networks, fixed networks and/or data centers. Current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trajectories for the ICT sector have been developed by GeSI, GSMA, ITU, and SBTi with support from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Sub-sector trajectories to 2030 have been developed for mobile network operators, fixed network operators, data center operators, user devices and manufacturers of ICT equipment. Each of these is consistent with a climate scenario that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The ICT Sector trajectory calls for a 45% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030.

Prompting readers on how to calculate ICT sub-sector targets, the report distinguishes between targets on direct emissions and emissions associated with use of electricity to run operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions respectively), from those covering emissions for a company’s broader value chain (Scope 3). 

In total, the ICT Sector trajectory calls for a 45% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. While the sector has historically been able to meet capacity and transmission demands, and simultaneously achieve targets through the purchase of renewable energy, the authors note that increasing size and complexity will require greater efforts. The report highlights actions on energy efficiency and encouraging behavior change among end users, in addition to further switching to renewable or low-carbon electricity sources.

Additional details on the report’s methodology, as well as emission reduction factors and Scope 3 emissions categories, are available in the report’s annexes.

Guidance for further ICT sub-sectors will be covered in a future release. [Publication: Guidance for ICT Companies Setting Science Based Targets]

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