We all have a part to play in making COP26 a success

What did COP26 achieve? That depends on your point of view. The international summit on climate change came to an end last month with an agreement that action was required to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – but, for many, the pact doesn’t go far enough.

Governments agreed that ‘phasing down’ coal use was a must, but where electronic and other high tech waste is concerned, very little was said.

Making COP26 a success: Page Image

Cutting e-waste topped a poll of priorities among British Computer Society (BCS) members. At 30%, it was comfortably ahead of greening data centres (14%), and carbon transparency reporting (19%).

“The challenge is that the business model for electronics firms is to push their products, like smartphones, on ever smaller time cycles as a way of generating revenue and it really does not need to be this way,” said BCS Green IT Specialist group chair, Alex Bardell.

“It takes combined political, social and commercial will to put the planet ahead of an ever tighter upgrade cycle.”

Sadly, the political will appears to be lacking. With electronic waste (e-waste) excluded from the summit’s agenda, there was no opportunity for leaders of the 197 nations in attendance to discuss one of the fastest-growing sources of pollution and environmental harm.

It may well be up to consumers, then, to take the initiative themselves. Doing so can be as simple as extending the working lives of the devices they already own.

Contact Alchemy Global Solutions for advice and to talk through your options.

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