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Mobile-phone technology is a Carbon-emissions Whopper!
Denmark Created: 15 Dec 2009
With the COP15 climate change conference entering into week two, all minds are tuned into reducing carbon dioxide emissions - and one huge generator of C02 is the Mobile Phone industry.

This evening while watching the live transmission from the opening ceremony of week two of the COP15 at Copenhagens Bella Center, I was thinking that the speech by Wangari Maathai, Green Belt Movement founder and Nobel Peace Prize laurate, was really good when it was suddenly cut short by (...drum roll...) the weather forecast! Well, it's cold and snowing in Copenhagen now. I just hope african Maathai has brought a decent sweater to combat global-warming in frozen-over Copenhagen.
So, what has Mast-Victims done to reduce C02? Well, this year we switched to a new super-energy-efficient server that only uses 5W of power.

Ok, enought about us and on with it... mobile phone technology and it's infrastructure is a major environmental bad-guy. We've said that for a long time and now there are some hard facts to back it up. So read on for the latest press release from "Our Childrens Future", a group of concerned Danish parents:

PRESS RELEASE, 14 Dec. 2009

Mobile phone users of the world are causing a power consumption of more than an estimated kilowatt hours (200 billion Kwh) which is roughly equal to 100 million tons of C02 emissions every year. Included in those figures are only the C02-footprint from mobile-phone usage (battery chargers etc.) and running the infrastructure of mobile-phone basestations. The power consumption of installing new basestations is not included.

These calculations have been done by the concerned parents group "Our Children's Future" in cooperation with the Danish company www.Feltfri.dk that specializes in measuring and screening of microwave fields from mobile-phone technology. The conclusions are supported by figures from the mobile-phone industry (see references below). The figures are estimated according to Danish conditions and extrapolated to global conditions from the latest available numbers of mobile-phone subscribers worldwide.

Power consumption, basestations and phone battery-chargers, Denmark, 2008-2009:

7.500 basestations in Denmark running 24/7 use 2500 Kwh per month, giving a total of 234.000.000 Kwh per year.
5.000.000 phone battery-chargers in Denmark (= no. of subscribers) use 0,3225 Kwh per month giving a total of 19.350.000 Kwh per year.

With a 253.350.000 Kwh total power consumption in Denmark, it amounts to a yearly personal power usage of 51 Kwh for every mobile-phone subscriber.

Extrapolated to a global scale of 4 billion mobile-phone subscribers, it gives a estimated total of 202.680.000.000 Kwh which corresponds to C02-emissions of 101.363.845 tons every year!
(one Kilowatt/hour of conventionally produced electricity corresponds to approx. 500 grams of C02)

Supporting references:

Report on mobile-phone technology and C02-emissions:
In a recent (2006) report, Actix suggests that... worryingly, the report suggests that the mobile network energy consumption of an estimated 61 billion kWh worldwide, with each of the millions of basestations producing nearly 10 tonnes of carbon emission a year, will get much worse, and possibly double by 2011.
Source: http://eetimes.eu/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201807401
(see towards end of article)

Ericsson: CO2-footprint per subscriber is 24-29 kg annually.
Source: http://www.ericsson.com/ericsson/corpinfo/publications/review/2008_01/files/4_ReducingCO2.pdf
See table 3 for breakdown of subscriber CO2-footprint by technology:
GSM = 24 kg and 3G = 29 kg per year.
Using a weighted figure of 25 kg per year multiplied by sbuscribers world-wide it amounts to 100.000.000 million tons of C02 per year (25 x / 1000 = 100.000.000).

For further information contact:
Vagn Larsen, Feltfri.dk
Consulting og trading company
0045-46789989 (after 4 pm local Danish time)
0045-40434362 (kl. 8 am - 4 pm local Danish time)
email: vl@feltfri.dk

With best regards,
Our Childrens Future
Source: Our Childrens Future / Mast-Victims, H. Eiriksson, 15 Dec 2009

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