June 5, 2021

Initial Research From Mobile UK Reveals The Vast Potential Of 5G To Fight Climate Change

Climate Change, Precision Farming, 5G

This World Environment Day, new research from trade representative body Mobile UK highlights how 5G will be a significant facilitator in the battle to reduce carbon emissions and meet our climate change goals.

Initial findings from a Mobile UK commissioned report that will be released later this year detail how 5G enabled technology such as drones and sensors will play a crucial role in cutting our carbon footprint, helping to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector by as much as one million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) by the year 2035. 5G-enabled technology could contribute to a 3.2% reduction in overall emissions from the agricultural sector in the year 2035 (with the sector currently responsible for 10% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions).  

Overall, 5G enabled technology such as the precision application of fertiliser to reduce its use on soil, and the use of drones to map weeds, yield and variations in soil to increase potential growth sit alongside cattle monitoring sensors and autonomous farm vehicles to deliver a holistic overhaul of the industry which could slash its carbon output.

Trials of these technologies have found that reductions of 10 per cent in fertiliser (without any crop yield loss), and crop yield increases of 2%-5% are possible, highlighting the huge potential of 5G to agricultural operations.

Gareth Elliott, Head Policy and Communications atMobile UK, explains:

“We have understood for some time the transformative potential for 5G enabled technology, and this new report highlights how it will become a fundamental facilitator in our ability to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

“Mobile UK commissioned this research, which will be available in full later this year, to highlight the huge potential from 5G to reduce carbon emissions and increase productivity across all sectors of society. The rollout of 5G networks will create vast capability for the internet of things (IoT), and this connectivity has unbounded potential for every industry to work and operate more effectivity, efficiently and ecologically.”

More information on the research,and a range of case studies on how 5G is changing operations for the better can be found at

For further information: /

Notes to Editors (initial findings from Mobile UK’s report into 5G and its potential to mitigate climate change).

  • 5G-enabled Internet of Things technology can help the agriculture sector reduce its emissions by One MtCO2e by the year 2035. 
  • This includes a reduction in emissions by 0.5 MtCO2e in the year 2035.
  • Agricultural emissions were 54.6 MtCO2e in 2018, 10% of UK's GHG emissions (source - Climate ChangeCommittee, the sixth carbon budget).
  • Technology that increases agricultural productivity is expected to reduce the sector's emissions (source- Climate Change Committee, the sixth carbon budget).
  • 5G-enabled Internet ofThings technology will contribute to these productivity gains in agriculture.
  • To give one example, drones can survey fields, and map weeds, yield and variations in soil. This allows more targeted use of resources. It has been estimated that it could increase wheat yields by 2-5% (NESTA). 
  • To give another example, smart farms have trialled the use of sensors to collect real-time data to apply an optimal quantity of fertiliser. Two years of trials have shown that it’s possible to decrease the amount of nitrogen fertiliser used by about 10% without any yield loss (CIO).
  • There are other examples that relate to sensors attached to cows and for autonomous farm vehicles.
  • 5G could bring more opportunities to more farmers to implement new techniques. For instance, currently only around a quarter of UK farms use precision farming techniques to guide the application or fertiliser (DEFRA statistics).

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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