February 22, 2021

5G will play a fundamental role in helping the UK achieve Net Zero by 2050

5G, Environment, CO2, Mobile

While mobile connectivity plays a major role already in protecting and maintaining our environment, 5G digital connectivity is laying down the foundations to further enhance capabilities and help the UK to achieve its climate goals.

The rollout of 5G will have a significant impact on the environment in two key ways, helping to reduce emissions and identifying environmental problems early.

To help reduce emissions, data and information from 5G digital connections and IoT devices will help monitor, calibrate, and adapt transport systems, energy and water grids, manufacturing plants and agriculture to not only increase productivity but importantly to drastically reduce the CO2 that they emit. The same type of data and information will manage the usage of appliances and devices in our homes, reducing usage and the power that they consume.

This will help to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Our member, O2, has calculated that using 5G across the sectors of transport, utilities, home energy, manufacturing, and healthcare, will mean that up to 269 mega tonnes of CO2 can be avoided by 2035.

5G will also be a critical component in identifying environmental problems early by measuring and monitoring the environment much more quickly and easily than humans and existing technology can. This means that action can be taken sooner to prevent or address environmental harm and damage.

5G-enabled technology has already been used for the timely identification of toxic algae in the ocean, supporting preventative action to take place. This connectivity, working in combinationwith artificial intelligence, has helped to uncover illegal logging in Costa Rican rainforests in real time, giving rangers a better chance to catch the culprits and help in the fight against deforestation. The technology has even encouraged pandas to breed by identifying mating calls and replaying them during narrow fertility windows.

In the water industry, where 23% of the water running through underground pipes in the UK is currently lost to leakage, Vodafone is working with SES Water to use connected devices to sense leaks allowing engineers to locate the exact coordinates and fix the issue, with a target to reduce leakage by 50% by 2045. In short, 5G is helping us to look after the planet, something that we all benefit from.

As part of Mobile UK’s latest #5GCheckTheFacts campaign, the trade body provides insight into the benefits of 5G for the environment. Appreciating that the rollout of new technology can also raise questions and concerns, the campaign also provides useful materials to help dispel the misinformation about the technology’s impact.

To find out more about how 5G can benefit the environment, you can view and download the new mini pack series, as well as information toolkits, fact sheets, and infographics related to 5G and health from

To stay up to date with the latest news and the #5GCheckTheFacts campaign follow @MobileUK_News on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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