Sitra is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the auction of the 26 GHz band.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are progressing at an alarming rate. For example, the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in October 2018, highlighted the exceptional gravity of the situation. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees requires immediate and unprecedented action. 1
According to a May 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Nature (IPBES) report, the loss of biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides is now unprecedented 2 . The impoverishment of nature also threatens the well-being of mankind.
Sitra encourages measures that promote the sustainable use of natural resources, slow down climate change, safeguard biodiversity and create economic growth and employment with less environmental impact. The aim should be to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and climate emissions in order to adapt our societies to the limits of the Earth’s carrying capacity. Digitalisation and many technological solutions help with this decoupling, and it is therefore important to promote them.
However, digitalisation and the use of technology are also factors that accelerate climate change and reduce biodiversity and therefore need to be addressed. These include the increasing use of energy and natural resources.
To date, little research has been done into 5G technology and its impact on the environment. Some studies have suggested that the 5G network and its frequencies could have adverse effects on the environment such as humans, plants, animals, insects and microbes. 3 However, scientific evidence on the health and environmental impacts of 5G networks is contradictory. 3, 4
In its statement, Sitra emphasizes that the latest scientific information on the health, environmental and climate impact of 5G technology should be taken into account when deciding on the 5G network and the frequencies it uses. In the light of the seriousness and urgency of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, Sitra emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive and multidisciplinary assessment of the latest research data. If the necessary research data is not available, it must be obtained before making a decision.
IPCC (2018): Global Warming of 1.5˚C. Summary for Policymakers
3 European Parliamentary Research Service, EPRS (2020): Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health
4 Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks, SCHEER (2018): Statement on Emerging Health and Environmental Issues