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The telecom sector’s contribution to decarbonization

  • Reducing road congestion by just a tenth eliminates 130,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in Montreal
  • Between 2002 and 2019, basic and fibre-based broadband connections contributed to reducing emissions in the average OECD country by 67 megatonnes, which is almost a quarter of the 2030 Canadian reduction target

Montreal, May 18, 2023 – The private sector’s contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions is too often overlooked. In a publication launched today by the MEI, Senior Policy Analyst Krystle Wittevrongel shines a light on the emission reductions generated by the telecommunications industry.

“Thanks to improved access to reliable, efficient networks, we have been able to reduce emissions in a number of ways, often without even thinking about it,” says Krystle Wittevrongel. “This phenomenon predates the pandemic, with modern networks allowing reductions of 67 megatonnes of GHGs in the average OECD country.”

The deployment of 5G will also contribute to decarbonization, thanks to networks that are themselves more energy efficient and that will enable the use of new digital technologies, all to the benefit of the environment.

“In Canada alone, the rapid rollout of 5G could reduce emissions another 10 megatonnes by 2030,” says the researcher. “This is a very substantial contribution, and it must be pointed out that this initiative is being led by entrepreneurs rather than by governments,” adds Ms. Wittevrongel.

“Not only will our internet connections be up to 20 times faster, we can expect an addition of $120 billion to Canadian GDP by 2036. That’s an impressive alignment of our economic and environmental interests,” concludes the author of the publication.

You can consult the MEI publication here.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship. 

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