Digital technologies are indispensable to achieving sustainable development goals and reducing carbon emissions in many sectors. Yet, computer systems themselves have an immense energy requirement for their countless devices, data centres, applications and global networks. With Covid-19 the shift to digital in living, learning and earning is bringing us closer to the time when digitization will become the climate hazard No. 1. Since digitization has many important benefits, we must prioritize research policy to design digitization processes that consume less energy; increase algorithmic efficiency and effectiveness so that people and the planet thrive; and make “Sustainability by Design” the new paradigm in digital engineering worldwide.
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