Event Video | Smart and sustainable: How can Digital help the green transition?

On the 12th July of 2021, PubAffairs Bruxelles organised an afternoon session on the role of ICT in finding smart and sustainable solutions for the green transition with Mr Vincent Berrutto, Head of Innovation, Research, Digitalisation and Competitiveness, European Commission – DG ENERG, Mr Markus Ferber MEP (EPP/DE), Ms Lise Fuhr, Director General, European Telecommunication Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), Mr Luis Neves, CEO, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Ms Eva Barteková, Policy Analyst, Environment Directorate, Environment & Economy Integration Division, OECD.

Ms Birgit Klesper, SVP Group Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom, gave an introductory speech.

Dr Björn-Sören Gigler, Senior Digital Innovation Officer, European Commission – DG CNECT, and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, held a keynote speech.

Dr Gigler’s .ppt presentation is available here

This event was moderated by Anja Ingenrieth, Vice President, European Affairs – Brussels, Deutsche Telekom.

Watch the full event again

 

About the debate

In mid-July 2021, the European Commission will present the “Fit for 55” legislative package to fundamentally overhaul the EU’s climate policy architecture and put the EU on track to meet its 2030 climate target (55%).

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 means that European economies and societies will have to undergo a significant transformation to achieve the decoupling of resource use from economic growth. The EU climate targets pave the way for a flood of legislation that will change most aspects of EU citizens’ daily lives.

There is no doubt that the ICT sector will play an important role in this transformation. Digital infrastructures and services help other industries to save a significant part of their C02 emissions – smart solutions for cities, homes, transport, production or agriculture are key to achieving climate neutrality. This “enabling effect” is far greater than the C02 footprint of the ICT sector itself. Maximizing this potential is a key objective of the Green Digital Coalition, an industry initiative supported by the Commission, under which participating CEOs commit to investing in the development and deployment of green digital solutions with significant energy and material efficiencies that deliver a net positive impact across a wide range of sectors.

Nevertheless, the EU is only at the beginning of the journey. The new Industrial Strategy and Recovery Plan for Europe recently reaffirmed that the Commission sees the green and digital transition as a cornerstone of the post-Covid recovery process. However, some sectors paint a less optimistic picture, warning that the Green Deal will lead to deindustrialization and carbon leakage, as well as job losses. Within this context, it is critical to further explore the steps needed to make the EU a leader in clean technologies, as well as to understand how the green transition will affect Europe’s geopolitical power play and industrial competitiveness. These are unanswered questions that the old continent is and will be facing for a very long time to come.