Digital solutions can close the SDG achievement gap by transforming how we live and work.
U.S. carbon emissions today total 6 billion tons, and if current trends continue, they will reach 6.4 billion by 2020. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for an overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 60-80% below by 2050 to avoid significant environmental damage. Businesses and policy-makers alike now recognize that climate change is a global problem that demands immediate and sustained attention.
The information and communications technology (ICT) industry can enable a large portion of that reduction. By providing actors with the information necessary to make intelligent decisions about optimal energy consumption, ICT solutions can reduce the carbon footprint of human activity while not diminishing quality of life. Altogether, ICT enabled solutions could cut annual CO2 emissions in the U.S. by 13–22% from businessas- usual projections in 2020. This translates to a gross energy and fuel savings of $140-240 billion dollars. These savings translate to a reduction in total oil consumption by 11-21% and a reduction of imported oil by 20-36%.
Four main ICT opportunities to cut emissions are described in this report.