Climate protection

Can the internet save the climate?

The ice bears are coming

  • Imagine this: Every time you use your smartphone or laptop to send an email, check the weather forecast, or watch a YouTube video, a tiny cloud of CO₂ emerges from your device and enters the atmosphere, heating up the earth a little bit more. No way? But it's true! The only difference is that the little cloud doesn't come out of your smartphone. It comes out of the cooling tower of a power plant. To get your emails, videos, and the rest to your screen, power plants have to supply elec­tri­city-hungry data centers with energy. And the electricity demands of the internet – with the associated CO₂ emissions – are often woefully underestimated: just one standard email adds 10 grams of CO₂ to the atmosphere. That means every day, an average employee sends so many emails that the CO₂ emissions equal those from an 11-kilometer car trip. France Television re­cent­ly calculated these figures. That means every time we click something on the inter­net, it hurts the climate. But we at Deut­sche Telekom are putting a stop to that!

How to surf the
internet without
harming the climate

  • We're making our network green! As part of our new, ambitious climate target, we will be converting the entire Deutsche Telekom network – from mobile communications to our high-speed DSL network – completely to electricity from renewable energy sources by 2021. So when you surf in Deutsche Telekom's networks, starting in 2021, your emails will reach your smart­phone, tablet PC, or desktop computer without burdening the climate with a single milligram of CO₂ – as long as your data goes through Deutsche Telekom's network.

    If you want to make sure that everything's green outside of Deutsche Telekom's network, as well, you should pay attention to which services you use. Google's data centers are already completely climate-neutral, for example. If you use Ecosia for your online searches, you can even take 1 kg CO₂ out of the atmosphere for every search, thanks to the trees Ecosia plants for every search. Need another example? If you save your vacation photos in the MagentaCLOUD and not just anywhere on the internet, your data isn't only well protected in our high-security data centers (more information here); you'll also be helping to save the climate starting in 2021. By the way: Saving your data on an external hard drive isn't an environmentally friendly alternative to the MagentaCLOUD. Forgoing a hard drive not only saves you money, but also conserves valuable raw materials, as well as avoiding CO₂ emissions for production and shipping. You'll also do your part to stop the growth of mountains of electronic scrap.

What is the greenhouse effect exactly?

Better or worse? Tap on the detail of the Earth and the video will explain why the greenhouse effect is so dangerous.

Become a climate saver With the following clever tricks, you can use the internet to improve the climate and intelligently reduce greenhouse gases.
  • 1

    Greener parking in the cloud

    • Take the annoying search for parking spaces, for example: Did you know that you have to drive around town for 15 minutes on average before you find a parking space? An incredible 30% of urban traffic is caused solely by people looking for a place to park. And you'll waste nine months along the way over your lifetime. Even worse: you'll add 29 metric tons of CO₂ to the atmosphere – completely unnecessarily. The Park and Joy app is a smart way to solve this problem. It shows you where the next available parking space is in many cities and guides you there directly.
  • He who possesseth little is so much the less possessed. Friedrich Nietzsche knew this already. The internet brings consumer products and demand together through many sharing platforms and makes everyone who shares and instead of buying a true climate saver.


    Sharing instead of owning

    • More and more people are joining the sharing economy. Even Friedrich Nietzsche knew: "He who possesseth little is so much the less possessed." He realized that possessions not only cost money, but – especially where status symbols are concerned – can also be a psychological burden. Today we can choose from an increasing number of sharing models that let us rent things that we need, simply and inexpensively – from power drill to motorhome. According to a study by PwC, one in three Germans already used offerings like this in 2018. Ride-sharing, tool-sharing, and bike-sharing are especially popular, but car-sharing and clothing exchange platforms are also up and coming. On the German website, for example, you can buy and sell used apparel quickly and easily, helping both your wallet and the climate. After all, the more products we share with each other, the fewer have to be produced. And that saves a lot of CO₂ that would be emitted for producing products that remain unused most of the time anyway. Did you know, for instance, that a power drill is used for a total of just 13 minutes on average before it's thrown away? Or that an average car stands still in a parking space or garage for 23 hours a day? What a waste of resources! The internet is intelligently linking consumer products with demand through more and more sharing offerings, making everyone who shares more and buys less a real climate saver.
  • 3

    Home, Smart Home

    • You can also save a lot of CO₂ by turning your home into a smart home. For example, by switching off the radiator auto­ma­tically whenever you open a window for ventilation. Or turning down the heat auto­ma­ti­cal­ly when nobody's home. And the smart home has lots of other tricks up its sleeve, too. You can find out about them in our interactive smart home special.

      Visit the interactive Smart Home article

We want to build the future for the generations to come, not rob them of it.

How much CO₂ can we blow into the atmosphere until 2100?
  1. 4,000
  2. 1,000
  3. 200
  • Current trend
  • 2 degrees goal
  • 1.5 degrees goal
gigatons CO₂

What is the 2 degrees goal? The 2 degrees goal means that the global average temperature should at most be 2 degrees Celsius above the average temperature before the industrial revolution around the year 1850. Currently, it is already 0.85 °C above the preindustrial level. Even if we'd manage to limit global warming by 2100 to two degrees Celsius, scientists cannot exclude the possibility of catastrophic consequences. That's why many scientists don't consider the 2 degrees goal sufficient. Technically, the 2 degrees goal is achievable with the current technology. The longer comprehensive actions for climate protection are deferred, the higher the costs and risks of fighting climate change will be later on.

  • By the way, in line with our long-standing commitment to a climate-friendly society, we've also defined other ambitious targets to fight climate change: We not only plan to make our networks completely green by 2021, but also want to cover all of Deutsche Telekom's electricity needs with sustainable energy sources by 2021. That includes the electricity needed to heat and cool office buildings, for example. By 2030, Deutsche Telekom plans to cut total CO₂ emissions by 90 percent compared to the 2017 figure. In addition to electricity, this includes emissions produced through the use of gas and oil, for example. In addition, the emissions produced in the manufacturing and use of Deutsche Telekom's products will also be cut by 25 percent per customer by 2030, compared to 2017.

    By tackling this problem early on, we will remain well below the climate budget that scientists have cal­cu­lated is needed to achieve the 2-degree target. The Science Based Targets initiative has reviewed our cli­mate targets and confirmed that Deutsche Tele­kom is one of the first three DAX-listed compa­nies to support the 2-degree target defined by the Paris Agree­ment. This is entirely in line with Tim Höttges, CEO at Deutsche Telekom: "We want to build the fu­ture for the generations to come, not rob them of it."

Be a climate saver and a hero for coming generations

  • One thing is clear: We all have to act now if we want to save our planet from drastic climate change. You can help, too: You can switch to a reliable green electricity provider with just a few clicks, significantly reducing your CO₂ footprint. You can also forego buying consumer products, particularly your own car. According to studies, a gigantic 4.5 metric tons of CO₂ are emitted during the production of the average car. Thanks to car-sharing, bike-sharing, and scooter-sharing, people in cities can easily live without their own cars. And if we stop­ped eating meat, we wouldn't just solve the world's hunger problems – read here to find out why. Every 200g steak you don't eat means 7.2 kilograms of CO₂ that don't reach the atmosphere. And if you'd like to find out how much you can save by not fly­ing, then try our climate flight simulator. ­

What are you doing to save the climate?