Extending the lifespan of smartphones by just one year would significantly reduce carbon emissions in the European Union, a report from environmental groups said. It also urged new EU rules to make electronics last longer. Activists said EU regulations should focus on the climate costs of producing smartphones and other electronic appliances, instead of the efficiency of their power consumption, as is largely the case now.
If smartphones, notebooks, washing machines and vacuum cleaners were used for just another year, the resulting drop in carbon emissions would be similar to that caused by removing all cars from Denmark, a state of nearly 6 million people, the report said.
The document was published by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), an association of dozens of non-governmental organizations. The report invoked the “right to repair” for EU citizens, which would entail new requirements for appliance-makers to use more durable materials in their products, and make them easier to repair.