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Deploying 5G will lead to spike in CO2 emissions, French climate council warns

French phone network operators say the report has overlooked certain positive aspects that make 5G technology much more efficient compared to previous generations.
French phone network operators say the report has overlooked certain positive aspects that make 5G technology much more efficient compared to previous generations. © Josep Lago, AFP
3 min

Rolling out 5G technology could lead to a sharp increase in power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, a report published by France's High Council on Climate warns.

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The report, published Saturday, found that 5G networks could be responsible for an extra 3 to 7 billion extra tonnes of CO2 released into atmosphere.

The plan to roll out 5G technology has been a subject of controversy in France. Dozens of parliament members have asked for a moratorium on its deployment, because of uncertainties surrounding the network’s impact on health and the environment.

The high council’s new report warns that the technology is only the tip of the iceberg. Additional carbon emissions would come mainly from data centres and the manufacturing of new electronic devices.

“We request a moratorium and our request is even more relevant today, now that the high council has said that we need to assess the technology's environmental impact before deploying it,” said Éric Piolle a lawmaker with Europe Écologie-Les Verts, the French Green party.

But phone network providers argue the report has overlooked certain positive aspects that make 5G technology much more efficient compared to previous generations.

Click on the player above to watch the full report by Valerie Dekimpe.

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