Time to green your PC

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As awareness grows of the huge and swelling carbon footprint made by the world’s IT infrastructure, the government has launched a task-force to green our PCs.

The “Green-Shift” taskforce, a public-private partnership, will be led by Manchester City Council. It will centre around the creation of a “green PC’ internet service which will effectively ‘out-source’ many of the energy hungry features currently built as standard into a desktop PC. Officials claim this could make our home computers 98 per cent more efficient.

Phil Woolas, the Minister for Local Government, hailed the task-force as a world first:
‘Cyber-warming is a massive issue and that is why we have taken decisive action with the appointment of the taskforce.’

He added:
‘Innovative proposals like the green PC service are essential if we are to tackle climate change.’

Worldwide IT infrastructure is now estimated to produce as much carbon dioxide as the aviation industry. By simplifying our PCs and centralising everyday software applications such as word processing software and email, personal computers can be made more energy efficient and less resource intensive, requiring fewer components to make.

The green PC service is to be piloted in early 2008, and rolled-out in 2009.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist June 2007