Office-related carbon emissions surge.

AuthorBlock, Ben
PositionEYE ON EARTH - Brief article

Growing reliance on the Internet is leading to a rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, emissions from the world's estimated 30 million computer servers and other information technology (IT) systems accounted for some 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions--equivalent to the annual output of more than half a billion automobiles, according to a McKinsey & Company analysis.

The rise in emissions is due largely to greater Internet use in China and India, where coal-fired power plants generate the majority of the countries' energy. North America's office technology caused one-fourth of the world's IT-related emissions in 2002, but China has since become the world leader, accounting for 23 percent of IT emissions in 2007.


The emissions growth comes after years of increased energy demand from the world's computer servers. The amount of electricity required for servers doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a Stanford University study.

The energy...

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