France: Data centers' environmental impact to be monitored by Arcep

Aug 05, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Arcep, the French government telecom regulator, has announced that it will start measuring the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from data centers, alongside the volume of water and where that water is sourced from. This comes following the enactment of the Chaize Act, which awarded the regulator with powers to demand environmental data from those within the sector. 

The regulator has been collecting data for two years, and in April 2021, it published its first edition of the “green barometer." The next edition is described as “a tool designed to inform public debate and the crafting of a low-carbon strategy for the digital sector.” It will reportedly take a deeper dive into the footprint of devices. In a statement, Arcep, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques – Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, said: “The makers of consumer devices … account for 79% of digital’s carbon footprint and data centre operators 16%.”

Although currently in the consultation stage, the next move will be to “expand this data-collection process to include new stakeholders (makers of consumer devices and data centre operators) and indicators, to steadily enhance future editions of the annual survey, and to more accurately measure the digital environmental footprint in France.” According to reports, stakeholders have until the end of September to bring forward comments, and the plan is to finalize the data collection process by the end of 2022. 

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