It is truly alarming that our planet’s human footprint is outstripping its biocapacity by 50%. ie we are consuming the resources of 1.5 earths. This among other facts was unveiled in the latest Living Planet Report of 2010 from the WWF.
Richard McLellan from WWF introduced the report and answered some relevant questions by NSN employees in our webcast recently.
Some highlights include:
- The Living Planet Index declined almost 30 per cent between in the last 35 years
- Tropical Low-income countries have the steepest decline in biodiversity – a 60 % drop since 1970
The Report outlines solutions needed to ensure the Earth can sustain a global population projected to pass nine billion in 2050, and points to choices in diet and energy consumption as critical to reducing footprint, as well as improved efforts to value and invest in our natural capital.
A hopeful aspect in this is that our industry sector can have a positive impact on the environment. Nokia Siemens’ goal is to develop, run and enable sustainable business which combines environmental (and business) benefits. We are able minimize our own and our customers’ carbon footprint by sharing the intelligence of ICT with other industries, such as the energy sector.
ICT’s own footprint currently is 2% of global emissions and will almost double by 2020. This is countered by the sector’s ability to monitor and maximize energy efficiency both within and outside of its own sector and could cut CO2 emissions by up to five times ICTs own footprint. (Source: SMART 2020 report www.smart2020.org). Increased use of ICT in the society can make a positive impact to the environment.
In a new energy analysis WWF is undertaking, they show how the provision of clean renewable energy for all is possible. This will involve investing in energy-efficient buildings and transport systems that consume less energy, and shifting to electricity as a primary energy source as this facilitates the supply of renewable energy. We believe it is possible not only to increase access to clean energy for those who currently rely on fuelwood, but to virtually eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels, thereby cutting carbon emissions dramatically. This will involve investing in technology and innovation to make production more energy efficient. It will also create a whole new era of green jobs.
We are already able to provide extremely energy-efficient mobile networks for our customers – also employing renewable energy. Now we can take this intelligence and knowledge to the utility sector and make energy networks more efficient, utilizing our existing technology and solutions.
The telecoms industry has been highly competitive for a long time and this has triggered innovation also in the area of energy-efficiency. This has naturally benefited the environment also. Now the utility sector is facing the same situation, but they don’t have to start from the beginning!
The fact remains that are still many who doubt the reality of climate change and its devastating impact on diversity across our planet. They should now really think twice and work towards a sustainable planet that our children can inherit.
The blog post is by Helena Baijars from our Sustainability team.