French study finds 5G increases climate risk

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The deployment of 5G technology by France could lead to a sharp increase in carbon emissions, according to a report released today (December 19) by the High Council for the Climate (HCC).
The study, the first of its kind in France, looked at the environmental impact of deploying 5G mobile phone technology in the country – a process which is already underway.

The HCC is an independent body responsible for advising the government on policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He revealed that 5G technology will lead to a significant increase in the carbon footprint of digital technology.

The additional emissions will come mainly from the manufacture of new devices – smartphones, headsets, etc. – and network and data center equipment.

The deployment of 5G will also lead to an increase in electricity production in France, the HCC found.

The digital carbon footprint in France is currently around 15 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. This equates to around 2% of France’s overall carbon footprint, meaning that the average CO2 emissions are 11 tonnes per person.

To put this amount into perspective, the energy information site Energuide indicates that the average CO2 emissions of a person living in Belgium are eight tonnes per year.

To limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, the average level of CO2 emissions per capita on our planet must not exceed 2.1 tons by 2050, says the site.

The HCC report found that 5G technology could add between 2.7 and 6.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year by 2030.

The report states that assessments of the theoretical positive impact of 5G on the environment, such as reduced transport demand, improvements in energy efficiency, etc., are insufficient.

The HCC made five recommendations to the government.

This included clarifying climate issues before deploying new technologies, such as 5G, imposing carbon footprint limits on phone operators deploying 5G and better informing the public about waste or waste. disproportionate use of energy associated with digital services.

Deployment of 5G in France

Eventually, all sites in France will be required to provide 5G service, but the initial phases are as follows:

5G in 3,000 sites by 2022, 8,000 sites by 2024 and 10,500 sites by 2025.

At least 25% of these sites must be located in “sparsely populated areas and industrial areas, outside large metropolitan areas,” says the French telecommunications regulatory agency, Arcep.

A spokesperson for Arcep said there is also an obligation for the four telecom operators to increase 4G coverage.

From 2022, at least 75% of sites [in France] should have a mobile internet download speed of at least 240 Mbps (megabits per second). By the end of 2025, 90% of sites should offer this speed.

France is not the first country in Europe to introduce 5G.

It has already been launched in Spain, Italy, Germany, UK and Switzerland.

Around the world, South Korea is leading the way in the deployment and commercialization of 5G on frequencies similar to Europe.

Arcep will publish maps in early 2021 to trace the deployment of 5G.

This will include the locations of sites that operators plan to put into service within three months and the locations of sites for which a building permit application has been filed.

Read more:

Orange will launch 5G next week in 15 French cities

Lille decrees a “moratorium” on 5G technology

96% of France now covered by at least one 4G operator

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