New Delhi: As Delhiites are breathing heavily inside a smog blanket which is a byproduct of Diwali, stubble burning, carelessness, irresponsible attitudes combined, the findings of a new study may choke us a little more as it has been revealed that watching a video online only for 30 minutes produces 1.6 kg Carbon Dioxide equivalent. The report has been published by French think-tank The shift Project. The same amount of pollutant can be generated by driving 6.28 km.

The report says that though most of the online traffic is related to streaming videos on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, watching online porn is the biggest contributor to environmental damage. These are videos hosted on streaming platforms with pornographic content (Pornhub,
YouPorn, XVideo, etc.). This excludes, for example, direct streaming, photos, etc. Online pornographic videos represent 27% of online videos, 16% of the total flow of data and 5% of total GHG emissions due to digital technology.

Stored in data centres, videos are transferred to our terminals (computers, smartphones, connected TVs, etc.) via networks (cables, optical fiber, modems, mobile network antennae, etc.): all these processes require electricity whose production consumes resources and usually involves CO2 emissions.

In 2018, online video viewing generated more than 300 MtCO2, i.e., as much greenhouse gas as Spain emits: 1% of global emissions.

Digital technologies now emit 4% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), that is to say more than civil aviation. This share could double from now to 2025 to reach 8% of all GHG emissions, i.e. the current share of car emissions. Reducing the threat of climate change requires drastically reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the next few years; however, the energy consumption required for digital technologies is increasing by 9% a year, the report said.

So, what to do:

1. Switch off the autoplay mode
2. Watch online videos on a lower definition in Wifi
3. Don’t use the mobile 3G connection to live stream