In the Digital Decade and beyond, Europe faces two important challenges: the green and digital transitions. Neither of the two transitions can succeed on the long term without the other, so the EU considers they are reinforcing each other, being equally important to the goal of transforming Europe to a globally competitive, climate-neutral digitalised economy and society.
The European Green Deal and the New Circular Economy Action Plan have set out an ambitious agenda for environmental policy, while the Industrial Strategy sets out actions in the area of innovation, investment, standards, fair competition and efforts to reduce barriers to the single market.
It is key that digital transformation takes place in a sustainable manner and supports environmental goals of the Green Deal and the Circular Economy Plan. Sustainable digitalisation can be referred to as the process of digitalising the economy in a long-lasting, green and organic way.
In this context, it is acknowledged that digitalisation can contribute to the decoupling of the economic activity from non-renewable natural resources use and their environmental impacts. Digitalisation can promote circular business models in the private sector and address important market failures that stand in the way of scaling up circular activity.
At the same time, we need to ensure that digital technologies do not generate more Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions than they allow to save. At present, according to the European Commission, digital technologies account for between 8-10% of our energy consumption, and 2-4% of our greenhouse gas emissions – small percentages but big impact (e.g. in terms of tons of Co2 emissions).
The EU is investing in opportunities in this area and introducing new measures to achieve our green and digital goals for the next decade. For instance, it is fostering the development and deployment of greener digital technologies as well as the development of methods and tools to measure the net impact of digital solutions on the environment via initiatives such as the European Green and Digital Coalition exploring voluntary and binding measures to help the private sector become climate neutral and use more renewable resources.
This EIF event will explore how digitalisation can help support these goals, reducing the environmental footprint of and through digital technologies, ensuring the digital sector is energy efficient and contributes to overall European supply chain resilience. It will discuss the issue of measurability of the net impact of digital technologies on the environment and include a discussion on the impact of specific technologies on sustainability, such as blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
Roza Thun MEP and EIF Steering Committee Member
Federico Menna, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations and Finance Officer, EIT Digital
Dr. Katharina Lasota Heller, President of Swiss-Polish Blockchain Association; Founding Partner of LEXcellence–Swiss Law Firm
Phil Brown, VP Business Development & Strategy, Circularise
Shuchi Rana, Global Head of Whitespace Intelligence, ServiceNow
European Parliament (room A5G1)
Rue Wiertz 60
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