Many will argue that ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) has paved the way for a forward-growing global economy and spearheaded the progress of urbanisation. Nonetheless, it poses a significant threat because the use of electronic gadgets pollutes the environment.

Pollution is caused by the lifestyles and use of ICT gadgets globally. The energy waste emitted in powering heavy use of the internet by millions around the world and the load of accessing wireless networks are very high, and that generates enough CO2 (carbon dioxide) to impact the environment adversely. ICT now accounts for over 3% of global greenhouse emissions, and that figure is said to more than triple by 2040. These figures would suggest that ICT has emissions greater than the aviation industry, which are currently around 2% of global emissions. If there is one thing, we are very certain of, it is that these facts affect you more than you think.

The consequences of increased greenhouse gas emissions in Africa are expected to be catastrophic. Every occurrence of warming increases the likelihood of more droughts, floods, heat waves, and crop failures.

Currently, rising sea levels are causing coastal erosion and the loss of villages such as Ogulagha, a coastal community in Burutu Local Government Area (LGA), Delta State. Floods are a common natural disaster in Nigeria, and they have become more prevalent in recent decades, wreaking havoc on agriculture, the economic system, coastal infrastructure, public health, coastal ecosystems, and human habitation.

While flooding in the country increasingly becomes more frightening, there is the threat of a great drought that lurks around the corner. With desert conditions moving southward, droughts are predicted to continue to have a negative impact on socio-economic growth in the country.

Significant droughts occurred in 1973 and 1983, and all the information and data we have from the past and forewarnings for the near future tell us we cannot fold our arms and do nothing to fight this global threat from where we are. We need to unite as true Nigerians to engage in practices that can have a significant impact on pushing against these threats through the best use of ICT tools. The earlier we roll up our sleeves and aggressively campaign for this, the better chances we get at making some significant change before we arrive at a point where it begins to cost us economic collapse; doomsday. 

Earlier this year, we released a publication titled “Managing ICT Emissions and Environmental Pollution in Nigeria: A Look at Best Practices.” Due to a previous lack of homogeneous data, research was carried out to determine how much pollution is caused by ICT emissions in Nigeria.

The result of the research revealed that ICT emissions in Nigeria need to be tracked more religiously, especially by organisations that use ICT equipment on a large scale. To ensure the practice of a lifestyle tailored towards sustainability, the larger population (which includes you) needs to be informed about basic and achievable steps.

You can take part in mitigating the pollution from ICT emissions by sharing content such as this. When you help create awareness, you will help to increase the number of people who are well-informed about the need for the sustainable use of ICT tools. One of the steps we suggest is advocating for sustainability practices in the organisation where you work. Try pitching sustainability ideas to your coworkers and bosses at work and participate in projects that benefit the environment and have a positive social impact.

According to a publication by a major energy supplier based in Bristol, England, named OVO, “if one person sends one fewer “thank you” email, it could save 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year. That would have the same effect as if we took 3,334 diesel cars off the road (so maybe you should reduce the number of thank you emails to those you can say it to across the hall).”

We will not need to remember the risks of ICT emissions soon if we educate ourselves and others while we practice sustainability, but if we allow the results of our non-participation to become noticeable, we will be passed “rolling up our sleeves.”

Read more ways to mitigate the risk of ICT emissions and find out why you should send links and not attachments to colleagues at work by reading our publication. Click the link below.

We have written other posts related to this piece and more. To stay up to date, follow our social media pages @ttswg on Instagram, @ttswg_ng on Twitter and TTSWG on LinkedIn.

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