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Can 5G help lay the path to net zero?

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5G is a technology that will help mitigate climate change, one of the biggest threats to our health, our natural environment and our economic prosperity.

Policy makers must act now to enable quick deployment of 5G to make it possible to meet climate action targets quicker.

5G can support key industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, transport and energy in reducing their environmental footprints.

A report commissioned by Mobile UK outlines a series of recommendations for policy makers to help speed up 5G’s rollout and cut emissions faster.

As global decision makers prepare to gather in Glasgow, UK, for the highly anticipated COP26 summit, Mobile UK has published a report outlining how 5G and wider connectivity has a major role to play in accelerating the path to net zero, particularly across key industries.

5G, including technologies such as the Internet of Things, telematics, and existing mobile technologies, will help underpin efforts to reach net-zero and mitigate climate change. This report sets out how 5G can help facilitate these efforts and calls on policy makers to focus on enabling faster deployment and adoption of 5G technologies.

Mobile UK’s report explores, both through its own analysis and external research, how 5G-enabled technology, underpinned by mobile networks, could support the combined G7 manufacturing sectors to reduce their total carbon emissions by 1% during the period 2020-2035. This equates to roughly 75% of the annual carbon emissions of France. In addition, research suggests the energy and utilities sectors could reduce emissions globally by 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2e between 2020-2030.

Furthermore, in the transportation sector, 5G could power solutions with the potential to remove 6.6-9.3 MtCO2e a year, while in the agricultural sector the research suggests that drones and sensors connected to 5G networks could have the potential to support smart, low carbon farming practices that can reduce industry emissions by as much as 1 MtCO2e by 2035.

With all eyes on COP26, now is the time for political and business leaders to recognise the facilitating power of 5G to help achieve the climate change targets that the world needs to meet. 5G has a key role to play as part of a huge range of valuable initiatives to cut carbon emissions, and the quicker 5G networks are deployed the sooner these worldwide objectives can be realised.

Commenting on the report’s recommendations, Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK says: “Our report highlights the crucial role that 5G and wider mobile connectivity will have in assisting our efforts to mitigate climate change. What is important is that governments recognise this early and work with industry to enable the rapid deployment of 5G and mobile networks. By doing so we will be in a stronger position to realise our goals more quickly.”

The full report, 5G’s Crucial Role in the Race to Combat Climate Change: How 5G will help lay the path to net zero, is available to download/read here.

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