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Australia drops on IDC sustainability index

Australia drops on IDC sustainability index

Our love for coal reduces Australia's potential to reduce carbon emissions through ICT and puts us on par with China and Korea

Australia’s dependence on fossil fuel has pushed the country down to fourth-tier on IDC’s new ICT Sustainability Index.

The Index was launched last year to identify G20 countries with the most potential of reducing greenhouse gases through ICT. This year’s results were announced at a press conference in Copenhagen during the United Nations Climate Change conference.

Across Asia-Pacific, Japan was the only country to claim top honours on the index, while China and Korea joined Australia in fourth-tier. India and Indonesia fell into fifth-tier, the lowest rank available. IDC blamed Australia’s low index position on its heavy use of fossil fuels, which limits the country’s opportunity to reduce carbon emissions.

“A lot of developing economies have got a much stronger opportunity to reduce their CO2 emissions. It is also the picture at it relates to the way energy is created at a country level, “ IDC Green IT associate researcher, Philip Carter, said.

The analyst firm broke its research down to four major economic sectors with 17 core technologies falling into those categories. These are energy generation and distribution, transport, buildings and industry.

While Australia is in a good position in terms of ICT preparedness from a broadband, mobility and general IT spend perspective, it fell from grace when it came down to emissions compared to other G20 countries.

“I think some would question why [Australia is] so low in overall ranking… They ranked less well in terms of the emissions comparison and also in terms of their ability to [act] linked to some of the political factors in the Australian market,” Carter said.

Despite the lacklustre performance, IDC saw Government investment into smart grids and smart meters as a promising step to reduce electricity consumption in Australian homes. The analyst firm also recognised efforts in the building and transport sector to reduce carbon emissions.

“We see a fair amount of focus in terms of energy management system and intelligent building design in the building category as well as private transport opitimisation,” Carter said. “Because of the significant surface areas Australia needs to cover from a land perspective, private transport optimisation is going to be one of the reduction opportunities moving into 2020.”

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