US among nations signing a global cooling pledge, aiming to slash emissions produced by cooling methods by 2050 as temperatures rise.
The Global Cooling Pledge represents the world’s inaugural effort to address energy emissions specifically arising from the cooling sector. The pledge urges countries to achieve a minimum reduction of approximately two thirds, in their cooling-related emissions by 2050 compared to 2022 levels. This proves to be a formidable challenge, especially considering the anticipated growth of the cooling industry in response to rising temperatures.
A sector of the cooling industry at the forefront of discussion is data storage. As the amount of data stored increases, the greater the number of units which need cooling, which all add exponentially to the heating effect, therefore increasing the emissions from the cooling industry as demand for cooling methods increases.
The UNEP report stated that the G20 countries hold almost 75 per cent of the potential for reducing cooling emissions by 2050.
Tom Dunning, CEO of Ad Signal, commented: “The technology sector can play a role in addressing the climate challenge by facilitating data and analytics for measurement, laying the path to action to reduce emissions. However, it’s crucial to recognise that data centres are a massive contributor to this problem, and the focus should be not only on developing more environmentally friendly cooling but also, as much as possible, reducing the volume of data we store. Particularly in an area such as video, which is the densest content format we have and equates to roughly 1.84 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions, organisations should look to de-duplication and data reduction, which in turn will have a knock-on impact on data centres.”
The news comes alongside Ad Signal’s inclusion in the Department for Business & Trade’s UK delegation at COP28, exploring the ways in which the UK can reduce its carbon emissions through video and broadcast storage.
Ben Golub, Co-Founder of the Digital Sustainability Alliance, commented: “Digital sustainability is the biggest untold story out there. Politicians and environmental activists often warn of the existential threat of global warming, but few know about and truly understand the extent of the issue that digital sustainability presents.
“The Digital Sustainability Alliance has been formed to open the eyes of policymakers, big tech companies and industry to the stark reality of the carbon impacts of data consumption and the urgent need for digital sustainability.”
“If the world exclusively used the tech solutions of companies similar to the Alliance’s members, we could potentially reduce the carbon output of data centres from 14 percent down to just 2 percent.”