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Despite the rising carbon footprint of Digital technologies, the same technologies are likely to be crucial to any move to a low-carbon world. Elaborate

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. Despite the rising carbon footprint of Digital technologies, the same technologies are likely to be crucial to any move to a low-carbon world. Elaborate (250 words)

Difficulty level: MOderate

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Digital Technologies have a high carbon footprint but the link is understudied.

Key Demand of the question:

The carbon cost of digital use and how the same technology is important for carbon reduction aims.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate them with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give an overview of how digital technologies such as AI have a carbon cost.

Body:

Enumerate various ways in which digital technologies create a carbon footprint. Give, data/examples to support your answer. E.g. in 2020, digital technologies accounted for between 1.8 percent and 6.3 per cent of global emissions.

Next, write about the various digital technologies being used to offset carbon emissions. E.g. use of zoom calls and meetings has reduced the traveling cost and time.

Conclusion:

Give a balanced view about the use of digital technologies but in an environmentally sustainable way.