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A framework to estimate emissions from virtual conferences

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posted on 2021-01-11, 09:40 authored by Grant Faber

While virtual conferences emit far less greenhouse gas emissions relative to their physical counterparts, they still have a considerable impact on the environment arising from participant computer life cycle emissions, network data transfer energy use, server energy use, and other activities that would not have happened without the conference. This article proposes a modifiable framework for systematically measuring the emissions attributable to such conferences using data about participant computers, Internet energy intensity, network data transfer, server power ratings, and other relevant factors. Strategies to reduce emissions attributable to virtual conferences are also proposed based on the framework.

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