The sixth report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – an aggregated assessment of scientific research compiled by approximately 300 scientists from 66 countries – was the loudest and clearest wake-up call to date on the global warming crisis. The panel clearly attributes the rise in the earth’s temperature – it has increased by 1.1 ° C since the industrial revolution – to human activity. Without a substantial and immediate reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures will rise between 1.5 ° C and 2 ° C by the end of the century. This, according to the panel, will lead all of humanity to a “greater risk of passing ‘tipping points’, thresholds above which certain effects can no longer be avoided, even if temperatures are later lowered again”.
Companies and industries must therefore quickly and precisely redouble their efforts to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions – but to do so, they must also commit to a far-reaching operational and organizational transformation. Cellular infrastructure, especially 5G, is one of the many digital tools and technology-enabled processes companies have at their disposal to accelerate decarbonization efforts.
5G and other cellular technologies can enable increasingly connected supply chains and networks, improve data exchange, optimize systems and increase operational efficiency. These capabilities could soon accelerate the global effort to reduce carbon emissions exponentially.
Industries like energy, manufacturing, and transportation could have the greatest impact on decarbonization efforts from deploying 5G as they are among the largest greenhouse gas emitting industries and all rely on connectivity to connect to each other over a communications network infrastructure.
The higher performance and improved efficiency of 5G – which offers higher multi-gigabit peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, higher reliability, and increased network capacity – could help businesses and public infrastructure providers focus on business transformation and reducing harmful emissions. This requires effective digital management and monitoring of distributed operations with resilience and analytical insight. 5G will help factories, logistics networks, utilities and others to work more efficiently, consciously and purposefully in line with their explicit sustainability goals through better insights and more powerful network configurations.
This report, titled Decarbonizing Industries with Connectivity and 5G, argues that the capabilities enabled by broadband cellular connections primarily, but not exclusively, through 5G network infrastructure is a unique, powerful and immediate enabler for effort to reduce CO2. They have the potential to transformatively accelerate decarbonization efforts as increasingly interconnected supply chains, transportation and energy networks exchange data to increase efficiency and productivity and thus optimize systems for lower CO2 emissions.
Download the full report.