YouTube, Netflix, Disney +: researchers want to reduce the quality of videos in the name of ecology

Lowering the definition when watching a video on your smartphone would reduce CO2 emissions. In any case, this is what a study by the Royal Society, a famous British institution, has put forward.

pollution video definition
Credits: Pixabay

According to the Royal Society, a famous British institution that could be compared to the Académie des Sciences in France, lowering the definition of the videos that we watch on our smartphone would reduce our CO2 emissions. As this report explains, watching a video in Full HD or HD on your phone generates eight times more CO2 than in low definition.

Based on this observation, scientists from the Royal Society say that platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video should limit the default definition available in SD. According to their data, streaming represents between 1.4 and 5.9% of global CO2 emissions in the world. In this regard, a study published in 2019 confirmed that if YouTube made the decision to only steam the sound on certain videos, this would avoid the emission of 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Simple actions to limit our emissions

It is true that some videos, especially those that display an album cover, could very well go without images, with people mostly just listening to music. This proposal is also one of those issued by the Royal Society. They estimate that these simple changes would save up to 5% of the emissions of a streaming service like YouTube, Spotify or Deezer.

In addition, the researchers urge consumers to keep their smartphones longer, due to the high pollution caused by the manufacture of each new model. As an ADEME study published in 2018 recalled, our smartphones “before arriving in our homes, their manufacture, transport and distribution generate CO2 emissions and the mobilization of raw materials. We have to extract tons of rocks and earth for a few grams of ores used for the chips in our smartphones ”.

Read also: France will display a repairability index on smartphones, PCs, TVs and tablets from January 2021

Keep your smartphone for at least 4 years

Thus, if you change your smartphone every two years, its manufacture alone will represent half of the CO2 emissions it will produce during its lifetime. Conversely, keeping your mobile for four years would significantly reduce the ecological impact. Not surprisingly, researchers also favor the purchase of used or refurbished devices.

Finally, scientists at the Royal Society say tech giants must play a role, by providing transparent information on the energy consumption of their digital products and services. “There are many ways to achieve zero carbon footprint, but digital companies have a central role to play ”, says Andy Hopper, lead author of the report and professor at Cambridge University.

Source: BBC