When it comes to things that are bad for the climate, flying is pretty high up on the list. But actually, the energy consumed by our digital habits – all those emails, posts, search queries, streamed songs and shared videos – has long since overtaken the CO2 emissions of air travel.
So why is the digital world so energy-hungry? And which types of online activities are the worst offenders? Our latest long-read Knowledge Article offers some answers to those questions.
One thing is clear – the digital world, the way it is today, is hugely problematic both in terms of its ecological and social impact. Not only does it consume far too much energy and release huge and ever-growing amounts of CO2, but the physical tools that we use to access the online world – our smartphones, computers and tablets – are having huge negative impacts on society and the environment.
If we carry on like this, the digital world will never be sustainable, and we will not come anywhere close to the climate targets that we so desperately need to meet. But there are things we can do to change the current course, and take digitalisation in a direction that is different, innovative, greener, more open and more democratic. We’ve come up with a few suggestions ourselves. Find out more for yourself here: Our Digital Carbon Footprint: What’s the Environmental Impact of the Online World?