Increasing use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is helping the world cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a major factor behind global warming. The latest Ericsson Energy and Carbon Report shows how ICT could help reduce global emissions by more than 15 percent.

Advances in technology and industry-wide efforts to reduce consumption mean that even with exponential growth in the use of ICT, the sector is expected to account for no more than 2 percent of total GHG emissions by 2020. But absolute emission and energy consumption levels are still considerable and must be decreased.

The report estimates that ICT can help reduce emissions from all other sectors globally by up to one sixth, around 16 percent, by improving efficiency, and transforming industries and processes.

Smartphones play an increasing role in the uptake and use of ICT and the report this year includes a detailed study of the life-cycle impact of a smartphone.

In addition, this year’s Ericsson Energy and Carbon Report presents the first assessment of a single country’s total ICT greenhouse gas emissions, examining the ICT sector in Sweden, one of the most switched-on countries in the world.