STANZ Submission on Ōtautahi Christchurch Climate Strategy

May 20, 2021

On Thursday the 20th of May STANZ gave a verbal submission to the Christchurch City Council meeting on the topic of the Councils climate change strategy. In summary, 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 e.g. ICT, Cloud computing and wireless 4G/5G systems, mobile smart phone use and the infrastructure and data centers required to run them (both locally and globally).

ICT & Wireless Systems Rapidly Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Behind each byte we have mining and metal processing, oil extraction and petrochemicals, manufacturing and intermediate transports, public works (to bury the cables) and power generation with coal and gas. As a result, the carbon footprint of the global digital system is already 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and its energy consumption rises by 9% per year.” – Jean-Marc Jancovici, President of The Shift Project, member of the French High Climate Council.

Action Point – 1 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.

4G/5G/6G & IOT Driving Massive Increase in Energy Demand

A lurking threat behind the promise of 5G delivering up to 1,000 times as much data as today’s networks is that 5G could also consume up to 1,000 times as much energy.

“The 5G revolution that the cell phone industry is so proud about is likely to prove to be an ecological disaster that could easily wipe out the carbon emissions savings of the Paris accord.”

Action Point – 2 STANZ recommends that there be a moratorium on the use and continued roll-out of the 5G system in Christchurch as to such time it can be proven safe for the climate, people and the environment. The CCC needs to lobby central government to help make this a reality.

Action Point – 3 STANZ recommends that the CCC follow a similar process to the French High Council on Climate and assess new mobile phone 4G & 5G technologies from a climate perspective including the economic, financial, social, health and environmental impacts (including the material footprint).

Dumb Phones are the Smartest Future for Gen Less

The massive growth in the mobile phone industry over the past 25 years has led to a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions to power it. The 4G system from 2014 onwards has helped facilitate this massive increase in mobile phone data use and the necessary servers and this is only expected to increase massively again with the rollout of 5G.

Action Point – 4 The CCC need to directly address the fact that so-called wireless mobile technologies are increasingly contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to protect the environment, the CCC needs to do a full life-cycle assessment (environmental, climate and social) analysis of how Christchurch can have wireless communication devices without endangering the climate and environmental and human health.

STANZ recommends a move to the new “dumb phones” on the 2G/3G systems to help mitigate any risk to the climate while providing for basic mobile communication needs e.g. CCC staff should only have Council issued “Dumb Phones”.

Summary: The Emperors New Clothes Wireless Digital Economy is a Climate Fraud

STANZ has identified that the CCC needs to take into account the fact that the mobile wireless digital economy is resource intensive and a high greenhouse emitting sector of the economy that is unsustainable for the climate.

Just when we need to be moving as a society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the mobile wireless 4G/5G sector of the economy and its supporting ICT and Cloud infrastructure is massively increasing its requirements for energy and massively increasing its greenhouse gas emissions all of which will only make climate change worse.

The Councils video of the STANZ presentation by Tremane Barr can be watched here:

The Power Point presentation used is here:

The full STANZ submission to the Council is here:

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