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Parliamentary questions
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26 June 2020
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001883/2020

While digital solutions will be key in reaching the ambitions of the European Green Deal(1) and the Sustainable Development Goals(2), it is also clear that the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector needs to undergo its own green transformation. Data centres and telecommunications will need to become more energy efficient, reuse waste energy, and use more renewable energy sources. They can and should become climate neutral by 2030.

This question is at the heart of two studies launched by the Commission: one, which is ending soon, assesses the impact of the data centre sector in Europe(3). A second study, which started at the end of 2019, is going to analyse the ICT product sector’s energy consumption(4).

As announced in two recent communications (‘Shaping Europe's digital future’, and ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan For a cleaner and more competitive Europe’(5)), the Commission’s action will focus in the near term on presenting measures to ensure that data centres are climate neutral, highly energy efficient and sustainable by 2030.

This complements existing measures, such as to reduce electronic waste(6), to increase the energy efficiency of servers(7), to help data centres becoming greener(8), and criteria to guide the public sector when procuring data centres and cloud services(9).

(3)Energy-efficient Cloud Computing Technologies and Policies for an Eco-friendly Cloud Market’ — SMART 2018/0028, to be published June 2020
(4)‘study on the impact assessment of the ICT product sector’s energy consumption’
(5) C(2020) 67 final and C(2020) 98 final
(6) COM/2020/98 final and Directive 2012/19/EU
(7) Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/424
(8) https://e3p.jrc.ec.europa.eu/communities/data-centres-code-conduct
(9) SWD(2020) 55 final .
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