The Federal Government’s $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) plays a key role in addressing global warming, according to Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
Speaking at the Realising Our Broadband Future forum in Sydney, the Prime Minister said the effect of the government’s broadband policy is not just isolated to the telecommunications sector.
“It’s about health policy, it’s about education policy and it’s about the whole government seeking to meet the needs of the people,” he said. “It is also about how we tackle climate change.”
The Prime Minister pointed to how existing technology such as video conferencing had contributed to reduction of carbon emissions.
The advent of the NBN will make a wider adoption of such ‘green’ technology possible.
“It is estimated that broadband can help reduce annual emission of greenhouse gases by five per cent,” he said. “For example, video conferencing can remove the need for travel and for face-to-face meetings.
“The Australian division of Cisco claimed it has achieved 16 per cent reduction in air travel since adopting video conferencing and other telepresence facilities."
The NBN’s contribution to smart meters and smart grids were also discussed at the forum.
Mr Rudd said the impending broadband network would help communicate vast amounts of information on the digital energy network.
“Widespread deployment of smart meters, combined with in-home displays, has the potential to improve operational efficiency and significantly reduce the amount of energy used by Australian households,” he said. “… Smart meters demonstrate the benefits of having a price for energy and the ability for households to be able to manage their own energy use [and therefore lower greenhouse gas emissions].”
“Such a self aware energy network for Australia will enable greater energy efficiency and reduce emissions and better utilisation of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.”
With the new-look Coalition staunchly opposed to the Labor Party’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), Prime Minister Rudd remained committed to the embattled environmental policy.
“Together, a NBN and a carbon pollution reduction scheme are critical for Australia’s efforts to address climate change,” he said.