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Understanding the Environmental Footprint of Telecommunications

Discussion Paper February 12, 2021

Municipal governments work through AMO to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges. One of these challenges is how to better integrate infrastructure investment, climate change and social policy into a municipal Council’s decision-making process.

The shift toward thinking of infrastructure, the environment, and social policy as complementary, rather than competing interests has created a more holistic approach to policy and decision making. Ontario municipal governments support this shift and have requested that AMO provide a series of Climate Change discussion papers to help municipal Councils demonstrate action in this area.

Understanding the Environmental Footprint of Telecommunications: The Transformation of the Municipal Workplace through Broadband Connectivity is the second discussion paper of AMO’s Climate Change Series. It argues that municipal Councils should examine the environmental benefits associated with enabling municipal employees to work-from-home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and potentially telecommute in a post-pandemic world. Starting to measure what municipal governments have direct influence over (e.g. their own operations), is the best way to study the possible link between having access to high-speed, affordable, and reliable telecommunications services (broadband and cellular) and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the local level.