We are living in a new context. Extreme weather events occur all the time and it is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to children what the seasons are. What are the differences between autumn and winter or spring and summer today? Climate change and its consequences threaten the entire planet and jeopardise the very functioning of cities, the great symbols of civilisation in the 21st century. How can we prepare ourselves for completely new problems and challenges?
5G is appearing as an ally in this fight. The great telecommunications revolution offers a series of tools (low latency, multiple users, ultra high-definition imagery, etc.) that can help public and private managers to make decisions and to act in the face of possible events caused by climate change. This new capacity to transmit huge amounts of data with absolute reliability can help to control water quality, manage river flow and use drones linked to emergency services to monitor fire zones and tides, for example.
5G is an innovation driver. We will need to apply all available knowledge and seek innovative solutions to adapt to the new climate conditions. New mobile technology will play a key role in developing preventive and resilient systems in cities in the face of new extreme weather events. Experts say that innovation and digitalisation will be crucial to decarbonising the economy and mitigating the effects of the unprecedented challenge of global warming.
According to McKinsey consulting, enhanced telecommunications will play a key role in achieving the 40% reduction in emissions (equivalent to 1,400 megatonnes of CO2) projected for 2030. Better virtual connectivity will reduce physical travel and enable a new organisation of workflows and habits in cities.
Improvements in service efficiency
Responsible energy use will also be a strategic issue. 5G technology requires dense networks composed of numerous antennas and other components. This imperative drives the development of economically viable and energy-efficient solutions that reduce the impact of mobile communications on carbon footprint and global warming. The objective is a 10% reduction in equipment power consumption.
With predictive maintenance, smart meters and the massive use of Big Data, algorithms and Artificial Intelligence, 5G will improve the efficiency of many services. According to Andrés Vicente, CEO and president of Ericsson Iberia, the ensemble will optimise our use of resources based on traffic demand and make it possible to reduce or eliminate consumption of resources that are not strictly necessary to provide a service, thereby saving energy.
In the new climate context, 5G will be a lever for change, bringing us closer to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring sustainable and inclusive development that leaves no one behind. Digitalisation and new technologies will be tools to solve the new problems we face. 5G will help us meet new climate challenges head on.