Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smartphone charging spews out megatons of greenhouse gases

Juniper Research finds that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from cell phone charging will more than double by 2019.

by Dara Kerr @darakerr  CNET
July 23, 2014 4:17 PM PDT

Josh Miller/CNET

For the first time, smartphone shipments have reached 1 billion. That probably means a lot of calling, texting, and app use. It also means a lot of phones being plugged into the grid and charging.

Currently, the world is generating 6.4 megatons of greenhouse gases from smartphone charging. By 2019, Juniper Research predicts, that amount will be more than 13 megatons. Those 13 megatons are equivalent to the current annual emissions of 1.1 million cars. Almost half of those 2019 greenhouse gases will come from coal-fired electricity grids that are mostly used in Asia, according to Juniper Research.A new study by analyst Juniper Research found that smartphone charging could soon be a massive generator of carbon dioxide, which is one of the greenhouse gases thought to cause global warming. According to the study, greenhouse gas emissions from mobile devices will more than double within five years.

While Juniper Research is predicting 13 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2019, smartphone makers could reduce that number by working to make their products greener and more energy efficient. Companies could also pressure energy suppliers to use more renewable energy, rather than coal and oil. Additionally, app makers could work to make their products more energy efficient to prolong phone battery life.


Dara Kerr

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries. See full bio

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