The UK is one of the best prepared countries in the world to use IT to cut its CO2 emissions, according to a study presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

The ICT Sustainability Index, launched last Thursday, modelled and predicted the size of the reductions in CO2 emissions that each country in the G20 group of nations could achieve by using new technologies.

Countries were then ranked in order of those whose economy, infrastructure and laws put them in the best place to realise the biggest cuts, with the UK placed joint third with Brazil, France and Germany.

Ranked ahead of the UK was Japan, which topped the index, and the US, which followed in second place.

Nearly six billion tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved by 2020 through the use of IT, according to the study by analyst house IDC.

The index looked at how 17 technologies – including teleconferencing, digital media and smart grids – could cut emissions in the energy, transport, industrial and building sectors.

The report also stressed the importance of businesses using server and storage virtualisation and thin client technology to cut the carbon footprint of corporate datacentres.

Roberta Bigliani, research director at IDC Energy Insights, said “the use of software solutions offering energy management systems should be a key focus” for all of the G20 nations.


The Minato Mirai, Yokohama district in Japan.
Japan tops the list of nations that could realise the biggest cuts in CO2 emissions. (Photo credit: OiMax via Flickr under the following Creative Commons Licence