13 Jul 2021

“Fit for 55”: three principles for advancing the digital and green transition

Tomorrow, the European Commission will unveil its “Fit for 55” legislative package. A major milestone aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by 55 per cent by 2030, whilst setting Europe on the path to becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, said:

“Studies show that by digitalising Europe’s traditional sectors like energy, transport, construction, agriculture and manufacturing we can cut carbon emissions by a fifth by 2030. That is ten times more than what the ICT sector produces.

The ‘Fit for 55’ package will shape the EU’s decarbonisation roadmap over the next decade. We bear a responsibility to get this right from the beginning. An effective package must recognise the enabling role of digital in the green transition, support sustainable digitalisation, and foster collaboration across sectors as well as global alignment.”

Three key principles for an effective “Fit for 55” package

The “Fit for 55” package, comprising a set of 12 legislative initiatives, will set the course for Europe’s green transition in the next decade. It is vital that we establish ambitious and forward-looking rules from the onset, creating a harmonised framework aligned with the Digital Decade strategy and with global initiatives.

As DIGITALEUROPE, we set out three principles to make the package fit for the twin transition. The package should:

  • Recognise the enabling role of digital technologies for the green transition in other sectors. The potential of digital technologies to accelerate decarbonisation must be weaved into all the package’s legislative files. For example, automation and connectivity solutions are enabling a smarter, more sustainable transport sector; digital technologies are improving energy efficiency in buildings’ construction and maintenance; and advances in hardware, software and equipment infrastructure are allowing more connected and efficient management of key resources such as water.
  • Provide a clear and facilitating framework supporting the ICT sector in its own efforts for a sustainable digitalisation. The digital sector has been developing voluntary initiatives to cut down on its own carbon footprint. ICT companies are major investors in renewable energy, thus reducing their environmental impact. As a matter of fact, ICT companies accounted for about half of global corporate renewables procurement in the past years.
  • Build on and further encourage current and future partnerships and international collaboration. There are already several examples of successful initiatives, from the Information 4 Recyclers platform, to the code of conduct for data centres, to the recently launched European Green Digital Coalition. With this framework, Europe can continue to take global leadership on climate action, but in order to do that, we must work with our international partners to set global standards and methodologies in measuring decarbonisation progress.

To support European leaders in this task, we are developing with our members concrete recommendations and use cases in advancing the twin digital and green transition, which we will launch in Autumn 2021.

Upcoming DIGITALEUROPE events on digital and sustainability

For more information, please contact:
Chris Ruff
Director for Political Outreach & Communications
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