The UK government has set up a taskforce which aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the operation and disposal of computers and IT equipment.

The Green Shift taskforce, led by Manchester City Council, will pilot the ‘Green PC’ service, which uses thin-client technology to host applications, such as email, office and internet browsers, on data centres and will use 98 percent less energy than standard PCs. It also aims to reduce resources used in the production of PCs by 75 percent.

Councillor Richard Leese, from Manchester City Council, said that action needs to be taken in the area of IT emissions to tackle the problem of “cyber-warming”.

The service, which is the first of its kind, will be piloted early next year and finally rolled out in late 2009.

The IT industry has been held responsible for around 2 percent of total global carbon dioxide emissions, the same amount as the airline industry.