Professor Wim Vanderbauwhede - lead of the Low Carbon and Sustainable Computing activity at the School of Computing Science of the University of Glasgow - talks to us about the carbon footprint of the ICT industry, misleading narratives around digitalisation, and why the notion of frugal computing is needed to move forward.
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05:49 – The split of ICT emissions - 54% home, 19% data centres, 27% networks - is taken from the "Carbon impact of video streaming" white paper by the Carbon Trust, 2021.
07:13 – Problems with the claims about emission avoidance through digitalisation are discussed in "Digital Rebound – Why Digitalization Will Not Redeem Us Our Environmental Sins", Vlad C. Coroamă and Friedemann Mattern, 2019.
26:00 – The limited potential for offsetting of emission through biomass is discussed in "There aren’t enough trees in the world to offset society’s carbon emissions – and there never will be", Bonnie Waring, 2023.
34:37 – Wim discusses the notion of Frugal Computing in more detail in in his position paper "Frugal computing – On the need for low-carbon and sustainable computing and the path towards zero-carbon computing". A more academic version is available here.
37:09 – The potential for efficiency gains through better software is discussed in "There’s plenty of room at the Top: What will drive computer performance after Moore’s law?", Charles E. Leiserson et al.