STANZ Submission to Christchurch City Council Climate Change Plan – April 2021

May 8, 2021

The Safer Technology Aotearoa New Zealand Society (STANZ) was created in 2020 to help inform, educate and advocate in the public interest including, but not exclusively, to policy makers, regulatory bodies, educationalists, the medical and scientific community as well as local, regional and central government, about the safe use of technology.

STANZ in general agrees with the goals outlined in the Ōtautahi Christchurch Climate Strategy 2021 for Christchurch. However, STANZ wants to make the central point that under Goal 3 and Programme 6 that the move away from resource intensive and high greenhouse emission industries needs to include digital and wireless technology which includes Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Cloud computing and wireless communications through the 4G and increasingly 5G systems cell phone transmitter technology, mobile smart phone use and the infrastructure and data centers required to run them (both locally and globally). Just when we need to be moving as a society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this sector of the economy is massively increasing its requirements for energy outstripping the growth in renewable energy sources with it being reliant on increasing numbers of coal fired power stations in other countries e.g., China.

STANZ recommends that the CCC needs to take seriously the ICT, Cloud computing and mobile communications systems massively increasing energy requirements and increasing greenhouse gas footprint. The CCC needs to develop a plan that moves toward economic transformation and innovation that is part of a sustainable climate future for Christchurch that does not include mobile wireless 4G/5G systems.

STANZ recommends that the most energy efficient ICT system is a wired system that is not reliant on energy intensive wireless transmissions like 4G and 5G (and eventually 6G). Wired ICT systems are also faster and more secure.

STANZ outlines in this report why smart phones reliant on 4G and 5G (and 6G) mobile phones are resource intensive and high emission technologies that are incompatible with a goal for a climate sustainable society. The smartest mobile phone communication system for the future is to move to so-called “dumb phones” (e.g., Nokia) that only need the existing 2G/3G system which require much less energy than the 4G, 5G and eventually 6G systems. This would also reduce emissions from globally located cloud computer centres required to provide computing services that smartphones need to work both locally and globally.

STANZ agrees with the French High Council on Climate report that the 5G system will increase greenhouse gas emissions.

STANZ recommends that the CCC opposes the increasing rollout and use of use of 4G and 5G mobile phone systems as to such time they can be proven safe for the climate, people and the environment.

Full submission here:

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