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New Analysis Reveals 5G Connectivity in Europe Can Result in Significant Emissions Savings
 Nov 04, 2021|View:65

According to a new study commissioned by Ericsson, the accelerated roll-out of 5G connectivity across Europe and the UK will have an immediate and catalyzing impact in reducing CO2e emissions. The study reports that at least 40 percent of the EU’s carbon reduction solutions, up until 2030, will rely on fixed-line and mobile connectivity.

As European nations ramp up efforts to address climate targets, a new Europe-wide analysis finds that implementing 5G technology across four high-emitting sectors - power, transport, manufacturing, and buildings - could create 55-170 Mt CO2e of emissions savings per year, the same saving that would be achieved by removing 35 million cars. That’s one in seven cars on Europe’s roads.

The EU’s carbon reduction solutions, such as the development of renewable energy generators, could reduce its emissions by 550 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (550 Mt CO2e), which is nearly half of the emissions created by the entire EU energy supply sector in 2017, and 15 percent of the EU’s total annual emissions in 2017, the year chosen as a benchmark for the analysis.

Adding in the savings from applying 5G to the four high-emitting sectors would bring the total emissions reduction to nearly 20 percent of the EU’s total annual emissions in 2017. The equivalent of the total annual emissions of Spain and Italy combined.

Despite the potential at stake, new forecasting of 5G roll-out from the annual Ericsson Mobility Report paints a concerning picture for Europe. At the end of 2020, 5G covered around 15 percent of the world’s population. In 2027, just three years before global emissions will need to have halved to stay on track to limit global warming to 1.5 ºC, new forecasts predict that global roll-out will still only be at around 75 percent.

Significantly, North America and North East Asia are estimated to enjoy more than 95 percent population coverage by 2027. In contrast, Europe is estimated to be significantly behind its economic competitors with more than 80 percent population coverage.

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