Digital policy key to G7 countries hitting net zero targets

FarrPoint research has highlighted that digital policy is being overlooked by G7 economies – including the UK – in their efforts to achieve net zero by 2050

The report from tech consultancy Farrpoint, commissioned by telco Telus, found that while the UK is leading the way in delivering net zero targets, there is no digital policy dedicated to supporting climate action.

Development and inclusion of digital policies within governmental sustainability commitments was found to present opportunities to accelerate the pathway towards net zero.

In addition, digital solutions — underpinned by the right levels of investment in infrastructure — is reported to be capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 20 per cent.

This is estimated to save around 150 million tonnes of emissions in the UK, and 2.4 billion tonnes across the G7.

Recommendations given to improve alignment between climate and digital policy include:

  • transitioning away from broadband and mobile network infrastructure competition — limiting emissions from construction;
  • allocating assets more efficiently;
  • introducing tax incentives to encourage changes in working practices;
  • considering projects with credible carbon reduction plans, when it comes to digital procurement and investment;
  • ensuring that network and infrastructure stakeholders can make reasonable returns on investment.

“Like many countries, the UK’s efforts to combat climate change are developing well, but there is still much more work to be done if it is to achieve its net zero targets,” said Andrew Muir, CEO of FarrPoint.

“Across the world, digital services and solutions have been overlooked as a mechanism to achieve our collective environmental goals. It is vital that governments, organisations, and consumers alike recognise that digital policy is climate policy and must become embedded within each other.

“In creating this report, we provide a clear path forward to kick-start a conversation across the G7 nations on the critical role digital can play in reaching net zero.

“Not only does this make commercial sense and improve the lives of consumers but improved digital policy also can help drive emissions down, contributing to the UK reaching its 2030 goal of a 68% reduction of its 1990 emissions.”

The Digital Policy and Climate Change report from FarrPoint and Telus examined the digital policies that G7 members have, or are planning to introduce, as they work towards becoming net zero economies by 2050. The full study can be found here.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.