UK climate laws will force IT departments to act

The Climate Change Act will force IT departments and technology makers to cut carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

The act, which received royal assent last week, has laid out the legally binding target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.

But the Committee on Climate Change, which was set up under the recently passed Act, have recommended an interim target for Britain to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least a fifth by 2020. The recommendation will mean big increases in renewable energy, home insulation and electric and hybrid cars and vans, if accepted by ministers.

The move has pushed some of Britain’s biggest companies to try to reduce their carbon emissions to avoid being named and shamed by the Government and being hit with a hefty bill.

According to Ed Miliband, secretary for energy and climate change, the new measures “‘will be instrumental in reducing carbon emissions and removing barriers to enable industry to invest in important new infrastructure”.

Trewin Restorick, CEO of environmental lobbyist group Global Action Plan, said: “The Climate Change Committee’s recommendation that the UK should slash its carbon emissions by 21% by 2020 presents real challenges and opportunities for IT departments. The challenge is to drive efficiencies out of existing systems. The opportunities are to use technologies to promote smarter working, including increased use of tele-presence and smart metering.”