This is the press release:
By making better use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Canada's GHG emissions can be reduced by 20 million tonnes a year, according to a study released today by WWF-Canada in conjunction with Bell Canada. That's equivalent to taking 3.2 million cars off the road, or 7 percent of Canada's annual Kyoto obligation. With more aggressive implementation, reductions as high as 36 million tonnes a year are realistically achievable in a 2020 timeframe. Because most of these cuts come from improving energy efficiency, cost savings to business, government and individuals are conservatively estimated at $7.5 billion - $13 billion per year.
Innovating Toward a Low-Carbon Canada: Using Technology to Transform Tomorrow outlines how enhanced use of currently available ICT products and services can help decouple Canada's economic growth and prosperity from its traditional reliance on fossil fuels.
"We have an increasingly digitized economy. What's missing is a roadmap by which governments, business and consumers can maximize the role of ICT in fighting climate change," says Stephane Boisvert, President of Bell Canada's Enterprise Group, which sponsored the report. "Technologies that can reduce our travel and the energy we use, while enhancing the use of energy-efficient goods and services, have multiple benefits for the environment, for the economy and for communities - a triple win."
Similar to an analysis by WWF in Europe, the report outlines how the spectrum of information and communications networks, software, hardware, and broadband services can be deployed to reduce GHG emissions. It makes concrete recommendations for business, government and the ICT sector, namely:
- Build a tele-work culture - financial incentives and management leadership can encourage 5-10 percent of Canadians to avoid commuting in their cars.
- Enhance car-pooling and car-sharing - the power of social networking and on-line communications can get 12-20 percent of commuters ride-sharing and sharing cars.
- Minimize carbon emissions by driving smarter - equipment that reduces idling and optimizes commercial vehicle routes can deliver large fuel and financial savings.
- Encourage more electronic meetings - business and government need to set the pace towards eliminating 20-30 percent of business travel, which makes even more sense with rising fuel prices.
- Facilitate more e-products and e-transactions - significant financial and environmental benefits already exist, and justify broader uptake.
- Deploy electronic meters and controls - regulatory requirements will drive adoption and reduce energy consumption of buildings.
"Business and government need to require, champion and demonstrate ICT solutions to the global warming problem - it won't magically happen," says Mike Russill, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. "ICT products and services offer easy, intelligent ways to save money while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions."