University of Edinburgh
Climate Change and Informatics in Scotland
Andrew Mitchell – Beijing – 22nd
April, 2011.
University of EdinburghAgenda
• The twin challenges of a Low Carbon Economy
• Scotland’s capabilities
• ICT and Climate Ch...
University of EdinburghEconomic success has led to twin challenges
• Energy security
• Environmental
sustainability
University of EdinburghIn the absence of a low carbon future…
Projections (IEA/EIA) suggest:
• World energy demand rising:...
University of Edinburgh
Le Quéré et al. 2009, Nature Geoscience; CDIAC 2009
…as emissions’ growth from developing nations
...
University of EdinburghProposition…
A low carbon future is a necessary
condition to overcome the twin challenges
of energy...
University of Edinburgh
Professional skillsKnowledge hub Innovation
www.climatechangecentre.org.uk
University of Edinburgh
Scotland’s Capabilities
Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change
The Edinburgh Centre aims to bridge the...
University of Edinburgh
Scotland’s Capabilities
University of Edinburgh: particular expertise in:
• Novel Fuels and Waste ...
University of Edinburgh
The world's first MSc in Carbon
Finance, dedicated to
professionals in the carbon market
and clima...
University of Edinburgh
Informatics in Scotland:
• Edinburgh: Largest Computer Science department in Europe and
Best Compu...
University of Edinburgh
ICT and Climate Change
The ICT industry has a very significant role to play in reducing
greenhouse...
University of Edinburgh
ICT and Climate Change
The ICT industry has a sizeable carbon footprint – on a par with the
aviati...
University of Edinburgh
Addicted to Data
The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information...
University of Edinburgh
© Greenpeace / Kate Davison
Addicted to Products
University of Edinburgh
Three roles of ICT in Climate Change
Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the ICT industry itself
• Ze...
University of Edinburgh
Three roles of ICT in Climate Change
Informatics: analysing and understanding climate change.
Info...
University of Edinburgh
SMART2020: Three roles of ICT in Climate Change
Enabling efficiency: changing the way we live and ...
University of Edinburgh
SMART2020: Global e-Sustainability Initiative
Smart motor systems: 2% of global emissions in 2020 ...
University of Edinburgh
BUT… the ICT industry has a legacy of failing to deliver.
“All dealings with
Government that can b...
University of Edinburgh
And so the ICT industry challenge is:
1. Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the ICT industry itself
...
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ICT and Climate Change Beijing 22nd April2011

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Presentation on ICT and Climate Change by Andrew Mitchell at OA’2011 International Conference on Office Informatization. Beijing, 22nd April 2011.

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  • The biggest increase in emissions has taken place in developing countries (with close to 6 billion people) while developed countries (with less than 1 billion people), on average, show rather steady emissions for the last decade. About one quarter of the recent growth in emissions in developing countries resulted from the increase in international trade of goods and services produced in developing countries but consumed in developed countries. The largest regional shift in 2008 was India overtaking Russia as the third largest CO2 emitter. China and the US remain in first and second position.
    From a historical perspective, developing countries with 80% of the world’s population still account for about 20% of the cumulative emissions since 1751; the poorest countries in the world, with 800 million people, have contributed less than 1% of these cumulative emissions. Uncertainty of emissions from CO2 fossil fuel is large in some countries and about ±0.5 PgC globally.
  • ICT and Climate Change Beijing 22nd April2011

    1. 1. University of Edinburgh Climate Change and Informatics in Scotland Andrew Mitchell – Beijing – 22nd April, 2011.
    2. 2. University of EdinburghAgenda • The twin challenges of a Low Carbon Economy • Scotland’s capabilities • ICT and Climate Change
    3. 3. University of EdinburghEconomic success has led to twin challenges • Energy security • Environmental sustainability
    4. 4. University of EdinburghIn the absence of a low carbon future… Projections (IEA/EIA) suggest: • World energy demand rising: 1.5%/yr • 12,000 mtoe (2007) to 16,800 mtoe by 2030 – 40% rise • 90% of growth in demand from non- OECD countries; Asian countries main drivers • Fossil fuel share remains at ~80% • Liquid fuels remain dominant fuel type • Demand for power generation rises 75% • 4,800GW required by 2030 [5x current US capacity] • Power generation dominated by coal
    5. 5. University of Edinburgh Le Quéré et al. 2009, Nature Geoscience; CDIAC 2009 …as emissions’ growth from developing nations Annex B (Kyoto Protocol) Developed Nation Developing Nations Non-Annex B 1990 2000 2010 5 4 3 2 CO2emissions(PgCy-1 ) 55% 45%
    6. 6. University of EdinburghProposition… A low carbon future is a necessary condition to overcome the twin challenges of energy security and environmental sustainability, with their consequent impacts on equity, wealth creation, etc… What are the barriers to delivery of a low carbon future?
    7. 7. University of Edinburgh Professional skillsKnowledge hub Innovation www.climatechangecentre.org.uk
    8. 8. University of Edinburgh Scotland’s Capabilities Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change The Edinburgh Centre aims to bridge the intimidating gap between good ideas and the practical actions required to support the transition to a low carbon economy. We undertake three types of activities: 1.Professional skills training; 2.Providing a forum for building partnerships to solve "low carbon" problems; and 3.Coordinating and sharing information on workable solutions from around the world. Located in the cultural, political and scientific capital of Scotland and the most significant financial centre after London.
    9. 9. University of Edinburgh Scotland’s Capabilities University of Edinburgh: particular expertise in: • Novel Fuels and Waste Usage. • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) • Carbon Utilisation • Economic Modelling and Accounting of Energy and Carbon • Renewable Energy Systems (Marine and Wind) • Sustainability & Low Carbon Infrastructure • Solar Cells and Thermo-Electric Power • Green Electronics and IT • Environmental Mitigation Technologies • Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Carbon • Hydrogen Storage and Nuclear Power
    10. 10. University of Edinburgh The world's first MSc in Carbon Finance, dedicated to professionals in the carbon market and climate change investment field and focussed on the business opportunities and financial flows driven by society's response to climate change. A landmark collaboration between the world-renowned School of GeoSciences and the Business School at the University of Edinburgh, the MSc in Carbon Management provides a high- level, intensive exploration of a subject crucial to the future of business and, of course, the planet itself. www.business-school.ed.ac.uk
    11. 11. University of Edinburgh Informatics in Scotland: • Edinburgh: Largest Computer Science department in Europe and Best Computer Science department in the UK by a factor of two (based on official Research Assessment Exercise) • Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance • Low Carbon related research: • Low Power Consumption Chip Design • Microbial Fuel Cells • Energy Neutral Speckled Computing • Centre for Earth System Dynamics and Climate Change Modelling • Zero Carbon Buildings (CAD, Visualisation, Management, Analysis) • Hydrodynamic Modelling of Tidal Currents • And and and… http://www.cleaninformatics.com/ Scotland’s Capabilities
    12. 12. University of Edinburgh ICT and Climate Change The ICT industry has a very significant role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially in a rapidly developing country such as China. Future development in China should not follow the wrong path taken by developed countries. Many industries can make use of modern ICT technology to move into higher efficiency low carbon markets. If we are to better use ICT technology to move away from existing energy intensive work habits and lifestyles, we need government policy innovations, incentives for companies and the active participation of consumers. Tang Min, Deputy Secretary-General, China Development Research Foundation
    13. 13. University of Edinburgh ICT and Climate Change The ICT industry has a sizeable carbon footprint – on a par with the aviation industry at 2-3% of global carbon emissions (Gartner 2007). BUT IT IS GROWING RAPIDLY! “At current growth rates data centers and telecommunication networks, the two key components of the cloud Facebook depends on, will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity in 2020. That’s more than triple their current consumption and more than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.” Greenpeace Blog, March 30, 2010
    14. 14. University of Edinburgh Addicted to Data The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information Martin Hilbert and Priscila López Science 1 April 2011: 60-65. DOI:10.1126/science.1200970 In 2007 humankind was able to store 2.9×1020 optimally compressed bytes (290 exabytes) and communicate almost 2×1021 bytes. "If we were to take all that information and store it in books, we could cover the entire area of China in 13 layers of books” Dr Martin Hilbert University of Southern California bytes 290,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilobytes 290,000,000,000,000,000 megabytes 290,000,000,000,000 gigabytes 290,000,000,000 terabytes 290,000,000 petabytes 290,000 exabytes 290
    15. 15. University of Edinburgh © Greenpeace / Kate Davison Addicted to Products
    16. 16. University of Edinburgh Three roles of ICT in Climate Change Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the ICT industry itself • Zero carbon data centres • Low power consumption chips • Software design, deployment and management • Consumer, corporate and supplier behaviour: product lifecycles • Always on pervasive data networks? Role one:
    17. 17. University of Edinburgh Three roles of ICT in Climate Change Informatics: analysing and understanding climate change. Informatics is the study of the structure, the behaviour, and the interactions of natural and engineered computational systems. “…when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind…” Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) Role two:
    18. 18. University of Edinburgh SMART2020: Three roles of ICT in Climate Change Enabling efficiency: changing the way we live and work • Dematerialisation: (e-books, telepresence, e-billing etc) • SMART motor systems • SMART logistics • SMART buildings • SMART grids Role three:
    19. 19. University of Edinburgh SMART2020: Global e-Sustainability Initiative Smart motor systems: 2% of global emissions in 2020 will come from motor systems (manufacturing) in China. 10% efficiency would deliver 200 million tonnes (Mt) CO2e savings. Applied globally, optimised motors and industrial automation would reduce 0.97 GtCO2e in 2020. Smart logistics: Efficiencies in transport and storage, smart logistics could deliver significant fuel, electricity and heating savings (1.52 GtCO2e in 2020). Smart buildings: Better building design, management and automation could save 15% of North America’s buildings emissions. Globally, smart buildings technologies would enable 1.68 GtCO2e of emissions savings. Smart grids: Reducing transmission and distribution losses in India’s power sector by 30% is possible through better monitoring and management of electricity grids, first with smart meters and then by integrating more advanced ICTs into the so-called “energy internet”. http://www.gesi.org/ReportsPublications/Smart2020/tabid/192/Default.aspx
    20. 20. University of Edinburgh BUT… the ICT industry has a legacy of failing to deliver. “All dealings with Government that can be delivered electronically will be deliverable electronically by 2005.” Tony Blair March 1999 In 2011 there is still a mountain to climb: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/government-efficiency
    21. 21. University of Edinburgh And so the ICT industry challenge is: 1. Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the ICT industry itself 2. Informatics: analysing and understanding climate change. 3. Enabling efficiency: changing the way we live and work • Dematerialisation • Smart motor systems • Smart logistics • Smart buildings • Smart grids But most importantly: a sense of urgency and commitment to deliver. Andrew Mitchell Edinburgh Centre on Climate Change Email: a.mitchell@me.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/roomitchell Web: http://www.climatechangecentre.org.uk/

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