If we can foresee that there will be a price for carbon produced by IT and the mechanism are already in place (cap and trade), what will be the impact on carbon usage and money spending?
Recently the Australian Computer Society published a report that gives an almost complete picture of the carbon footprint of IT usage in Australia in 2010. With this report we can make a real estimate of the potential carbon emission costs. Taking their numbers into account and using a Pareto analysis (see earlier blog entries) we can see where the money really goes.
The carbon price that is chosen is based on the 13.66 euro average price (the first 5-1/2 months of 2010) of the European cap and trade market. This gives for Australia a total of 196 million euro of carbon emission costs. As you can see in the table below, the first six IT components (of the eighteen in total) are responsible for 80% of the carbon footprint. And the carbon costs of these six components adds up to almost 155 million euro.
Setting a price for carbon emission will have a huge effect on (IT) economics. Its time to get the impact of a “carbon tax” on the radar screen of organizations.