Public sector computer systems need to become greener and more efficient, Cabinet Office minister Gillian Merron said Thursday.

Speaking at the fourth European Ministerial e-Government Conference in Lisbon, the minister called on the U.K. Chief Information Officer Council to reduce the carbon footprint of government computers and improve the sustainability of public sector IT.

Gillian Merron said: “Figures from industry suggest that, worldwide, information technology is responsible for about 1 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year — that’s between 2 per cent and 4 per cent of global energy.

“The government is by far the biggest user of IT in the U.K., spending around