Targets Must Include Scope 3 Emissions

On May 26, 2021, the Dutch District Court in The Hague (Rechtbank Den Haag) issued a landmark ruling in support of fighting the climate crisis. Upon review, the Court deemed Royal Dutch Shell’s current targets inadequate. The stipulated that the global fossil fuel giant’s greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced at much larger scale — including scope 3 — use of product emissions (cf. definition in 2.5.4 of the ruling).

This is huge. And it feels like the importance of this detail is still underreported.

According to the latest science, we are on the terrifying trajectory of the UN IPCC’s…


The Internet’s Environmental Impact. Part 4.

“We need courage, not hope.” ~ Kate Marvel

The courage to change and adapt our own actions if we want to genuinely do what we can to limit the damages of the climate crisis.

In her essay, Marvel also posits: “Hope is a creature of privilege: we know that things will be lost, but it is comforting to believe that others will bear the brunt of it.” — In that, climate privilege is just another systemic pattern of oppression, similar to white supremacy.

Is it difficult to change and adapt your, mine, our actions…


The Internet’s Environmental Footprint. Part 3.

The internet’s environmental footprint is sizeable and with 4–7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the ICT sector is instrumental to tackling the climate crisis. Apart from increasing transparency and better understanding the impact of big tech players across all scopes and categories of the GHG protocol, we must also think about how to manage change within businesses. Because one thing is for sure, business as usual is not going to cut it.

In today’s part 3 of this series, I want to therefore share a bit from my personal experience in building out Mozilla’s…


The internet is one of the main contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to countries, it ranks 5th, just after China, the USA, the EU-27, and India, and it exceeds the combined 3.6% impact of the aviation and shipping industry, incl. pre-pandemic slowdowns.

As highlighted in the first part of this series, it seems appropriate, if not conservative, to estimate the internet’s environmental impact at about 4–7% of global emissions. I’d argue that the scale of this impact absolutely requires to think about how to reduce and mitigate — and do so fast.

Today’s focus will be on the…


Ever wondered what the internet’s environmental impact is, how to make sense of greenhouse gas emissions assessments, whether climate neutrality is achievable, or also, what it is that we can do to improve and move towards a sustainable future for all?

You’re not alone.

I’ve grappled with these undoubtedly very big, complex questions for a while now and though I’ve occasionally shared research and initial ideas through talks and previous essays, I had yet to write a concise summary. So here it is. In 4 parts, three of which will focus on what we can do going forward.


The good thing about 2020? It is almost over.

It has been difficult and disruptive and I can’t count the times where I was just so exhausted, tired, frustrated, sad, angry, exasperated — at the world, at isolation, lockdown, the emotional drain, anything and everything.

Yet, as I wrote a brief recap for my colleagues at Mozilla to reflect on all the things we achieved in terms of sustainability, I suddenly had to sit back and realise that though I may be emotionally and mentally exhausted, I am also incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to pull off. And…


Here’s a checklist for increasing impact.

Picture taken in Lisbon © Cathleen Berger

It’s generally accepted that democracy is in crisis worldwide, and that spaces for civic participation are shrinking. Meanwhile, the so-called “techlash” is polarising debates around how governments around the world should govern the internet and social media.

For years, I’ve heard people talk about fostering dialogue between diverse stakeholder groups and the importance of soliciting input from a wider range of voices. And yet, when it comes to developing comprehensive policies nearly everyone reverts back to engaging the networks and processes they know (and are comfortable with) instead of experimenting with new models for deliberation and decision-making.

I’ve worked across…


Would you be surprised if I told you #ricebunny and #metoo are the same thing? If so, I highly recommend listening to this Note To Self podcast that digs into the effects and manifestation of the me too movement in China — and that inspired me to write this post:

Harassment, hateful and violent speech, as well as their far-reaching, traumatising effects on people’s lives are part of our mainstream headlines these days. The majority of it is directed against women and underrepresented minorities. In a way, feminists will tell you that the inescapable onslaught of harassment on social media…


© Cathleen Berger

“Smart Cities sind nachhaltiger und integrierter Stadtentwicklung verpflichtet”, heißt es in der Smart City Charta von 2017, die ohne Frage einen umfassenden und durchaus begrüßenswerten Katalog an Handlungsanleitungen bereit stellt. Aber inwieweit lässt sich diese Vision realisieren und wo stößt die Utopie auf Hürden im praktischen Umgang mit Daten?

— Es handelt sich um eine leicht gekürzte Fassung einer Keynote, die ich am 18. September 2018 in Frankfurt/Main in der Smart City Arena des Bundeskongresses für nationale Stadtplanung gehalten habe. —

In der Theorie haben “Smart Cities” durchaus Potential: “[sie nutzen] Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien, um auf der Basis von integrierten…


Privacy matters. Safeguarding it, though, has become costly: it is now a luxury to disconnect. These days, disconnecting is not just about unplugging and wellbeing, the lush idea of “digital-free” vacations. It is a critical and increasingly challenging aspect of maintaining our personal space.

A couple of months ago I initiated a brief Twitter poll asking people which technological development they considered most concerning with a view to privacy: the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities, or digital government initiatives, such as digital ID?

Out of the 180 people who voted, a third opted for “None, privacy is dead”. Still…

Cathleen Berger

Strategy expert, focusing in intersection of technology, human rights, global governance, and sustianability

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