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 Monday, May 03, 2010

Cisco Systems has embarked on a "take back and recycle" program, to ensure that consumers in Africa do not use phased-out equipment. The program takes used Cisco gear as well phased-out products that may still be sitting on resellers' shelves. Cisco has already indicated that it is phasing out the Linksys brand, which is common in Africa. "The Computer For Schools Kenya (CFSK) plant can handle large quantities of e-waste in a day; has employed young people and its important for equipment manufacturers and vendors in the region to work with communities,"

While the Cisco program may save customers the cost of managing and storing excess, outdated, or used ICT equipment, most such equipment on the continent is dumped is sold at low cost -- in some cases the equipment works, making cost-conscious customers consider buying obsolete equipment.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld Kenya)

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ComputerWorld Kenya

Monday, May 03, 2010 5:27:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 04, 2010

The government develops a new strategy to help the information technology industry cut down on waste While no one will ever confuse the polluting effects of the information and communications technology sector with, say, the oil industry, all is not green in the realm of ICT. The world throws away of hundreds of millions of mobile phones, computers, printers, batteries and gadgets annually, while energy and raw materials consumed by the industry account for more than 2% of global greenhouse gases emissions.

It is with this in mind that the Egyptian government has begun work on a green information and communication technology (ICT) strategy aimed at reducing the sector’s energy use and finding a place for the tons of hardware thrown away every year.

 

(Source: Business Today)

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Business Today

Thursday, March 04, 2010 4:15:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In today’s technologically advanced world, documents and correspondences that were once sent by post are now exchanged electronically. This exchange takes place smoothly until a signature is required in the transaction. Then the entire process falls back to the real ‘e-less’ world of paper documents, faxes, snail-mail and even physical presence.

Technology, however, has not ceased to search for solutions to this barrier. The result: a method that is accurate and arguably more secure than the traditional handwritten signature, which allows documents to be signed online — e-signatures.

 

(Source: Business Today)

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Business Today

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 3:13:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Developing countries risk missing out on the benefits of information technology because of their lack of broadband infrastructure, a U.N. agency said.

Lack of broadband Internet access deprives countries of the possibility of building up offshoring industries, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report late on Thursday. It also prevents people from tapping into all the advantages of mobile phones, whose use is exploding in poor countries. "What is known as the broadband gap for example is becoming a serious handicap for companies in many poor countries," he told a briefing to launch UNCTAD's Information Economy Report.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Reuters 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:19:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 15, 2009

After a two weeks meeting in Bonn Germany, it appears that an ambitious and effective global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is in sight.

A big achievement of this meeting is that governments have made it clearer what they want to see in the Copenhagen agreed outcome,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.The Copenhagen outcome is to follow on the first phase of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. The negotiating text under consideration covers issues of a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, enhanced action on adaptation, mitigation and finance, as well as technology and capacity-building.

The gathering in Germany, which brought together more than 4,600 participants from government, business and industry, environmental groups and research institutions, was the second in a series of five major UN negotiating sessions slated for this year ahead of Copenhagen. The next meeting is scheduled to be held from 10 to 14 August in Bonn, followed by sessions in Bangkok from 28 September to 9 October and Barcelona from 2 to 6 November.

Source: UN

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Press Release

 

Monday, June 15, 2009 4:31:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 01, 2009

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a landmark agreement reached by over 30 African ministers to mainstream climate change adaptation measures into national and regional development plans, policies and strategies.

The Nairobi Declaration adopted at the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) called on the international community to support the continent in implementing climate change programmes while at the same time achieving sustainable development, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable, such as women and children, who bear the brunt of the impact of global warming.

“Africa’s environment ministers have today signalled their resolve to be part of the solution to the climate change challenge by forging a unified position, within their diversity of economies, in advance of the crucial UN climate change convention meeting in Copenhagen in just 192 days time,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The Declaration highlights the need for a coherent financial mechanism to battle climate change, with equitable governance and simplified access procedures. In this regard, African ministers are advocating for the improvement and modification of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in order to ensure equitable geographical distribution of projects that contribute to sustainable development efforts on the continent. They are also calling for the expansion of eligible categories to benefit from carbon credits and other international incentives to include sustainable land use, agriculture and forest management, in order to promote agricultural productivity in a way that improves resilience and adaptation to climate change.

Source:United Nations

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Nairobi Declaration

Monday, June 01, 2009 4:50:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Digital technologies, or Information and Communications Technologies as they are commonly known, offer massive opportunities: Innovation and technology are "the backbone of the modern economy," says Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the deputy leader of the Government in the Senate.

As part of the Government of Australia's efforts at reducing carbon emissions by 2020, the energy sector providers plan to use broadband to improve the way they monitor and manage power distribution. Using broadband to connect power consumers with power generators will allow them to harness means of distribution in a more efficient and reliable manner. Smart grids connected by broadband will also raise the potential to not only monitor energy use but to allow remote adjustment of lights or temperature. This implies the very real possibility of significant carbon emission reductions for the country. 

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:39:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 10, 2009

ITU is pleased to announce the launch of its 2009 Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition.

The 2009 ITU Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition is open to current students and recent graduates in economics, political science, law, literature, telecommunications, computer science, information systems and related fields between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The winners of the 2009 Essay Competition will be offered the opportunity of a consultancy contract within the ITU Development Sector's ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division for three months. The winners will be given a contribution towards the cost of an economy class flight from their place of residence. In addition, they will be paid the sum of CHF 6000 towards living expenses for the duration of the contract.

To enter the competition you need to submit an essay on one of the following essay topics:

  • Mobiles for Development: Enabling Low-Cost e-Applications for Rural and Remote Areas (e-Health, e-Government, e-Environment)
  • Protecting Children and Youth in the Internet and Mobile Age: Innovative Technical and Social Solutions
  • Connecting the World Responsibly: Empowering Women and Girls Through Creative Uses of ICTs
  • Personal Information Online (internet/mobiles): Responding to User Safety Concerns

All applications should be submitted online through the competition website.

The deadline for applications is 14 June 2009.

We look forward to reviewing your applications and wish you the best of luck in the competition!

 

Friday, April 10, 2009 7:17:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 03, 2009

The EU's Commissioner in charge of Information and Communication Technology Viviane Reding, has called on the European ICT sector, which accounts of 2% of carbon emissions, to become the engine in the drive against carbon emissions, by setting trends that can be followed in the wider economy to affect the other 98% of emissions.

"Personally, I would recommend the ICT sector to lead the way for the rest of the economy by reducing its own carbon footprint by 20 percent as early as 2015", said Reding. "I see from the response of European ICT companies to the Commission's ongoing work that Europe is already well ahead in using ICT to green the economy, with some ICT companies already voluntarily working to reduce CO2 emission by 50 to 80 percent."

Commissioner Reding cited buildings and transport as other sectors where ICTenabled energy efficiency could have an impact. Recent studies suggest that better use of ICT could reduce energy consumption of buildings in the EU by up to 17% and to reduce carbon emissions in transport logistics by up to 27%.

Read Full Report

Source:European Union

Friday, April 03, 2009 9:06:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau launched the study report "ICTs for e-Environment - Guidelines for Developing Countries, with a Focus on Climate Change", which is intended to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change, through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Although ICTs require energy resources, they also offer a number of opportunities to advance global environmental research, planning and action. This includes monitoring and protecting the environment as well as mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. The report also looks extensively at the use of ICTs in many different aspects of work on the environment, including environmental observation, analysis, planning, management and protection, mitigation and capacity building.

In order to assess the adoptability of selected ICT applications for environmental management in developing countries in general, the report proposes a ranking system with parameters such as (a) environmental scope, (b) technology, (c) transferability, and (d) impact.

Furthermore, the ICTs for e-Environment report considers over 150 ICT applications in one of its annexes, including the name of the ICT applications, description, area of work, sponsor, region, active dates, and relevant web references.  

Not all countries have the capacity to take advantage of these technologies in order to use the full potential of ICTs for environmental action. The report states that there is a clear need for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to global environmental action through access to ICTs and the use of information technologies and management practices to eliminate duplication of efforts. This can be done by consolidating action at national levels on the many and varied environmental conventions and initiatives that developing countries have already agreed to in principle. ICTs provide a unique opportunity to do so while assisting in building local capacity to use these tools and practices.

There is also a need to assign the environment a more important profile in ICT strategic planning initiatives at the national level and, in particular, in e‑Governance and e-Goverment initiatives so that the use of ICTs for the environment is integrated into planning processes from the beginning, along with other national priorities and initiatives.

The report proposes a methodology to undertake rapid national e‑Environment assessments as well as to develop and implement national e‑Environment strategies. Among other proposals, the report recommends the preparation of an e‑Environment toolkit comprised of best practices as one practical method to assist developing countries to take advantage of ICTs for environmental research, planning and action. Strengthening ongoing research activities is another proposal as well as placing more focus on the environment sector in e‑Government initiatives. Working on a regional basis may be the best approach for smaller, landlocked or island jurisdictions, such as small island developing states.

Whatever approach is taken to support the use of ICTs for environmental action in sustainable development, it must be undertaken in close collaboration with key development partners at the national and international level and in consultation with actors in the public and private sectors as well as civil society.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 3:42:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union organised two Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change. The first was held in Kyoto, Japan 15-16 April 2008, hosted by MIC Japan, and the second was held in London, UK, on 17-18 June, hosted by BT.

These symposia brought together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. Among others, the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau presented a summary of the study report on "ICTs for e-Environment - Guidelines for Developing Countries, with a Focus on Climate Change".

For more information on presentations, meeting summarie and the outcomes of the symposia, click here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 3:54:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 12, 2008

As part of its effort to combat climate change, the European Commission announced on 13 May 2008 that it would promote the use of ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) to improve energy efficiency throughout the economy, starting with buildings, lighting and the power grid. The Commission will encourage the ICT industry to demonstrate leadership in reducing its own CO2 emissions and by identifying and creating solutions that will benefit the whole economy. "To meet Europe's energy efficiency goals by 2020, we need a high growth, low carbon economy. Research and rapid take-up of innovative energy efficient ICT solutions will be crucial to lowering emissions across the whole economy," said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "There is a win-win situation in which ICT will promote the competitiveness of EU industry while leading the fight against climate change."

For more information, click here or read the European Commission document on Addressing the challenge of energy efficiency through Information and Communication Technologies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:01:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 19, 2008

On an article published Wednesday, 14 May 2008, on the Guardian, Will Ashley-Cantello writes about how the youth are both fully aware of the need to reduce environmental impacts and equipped to making this change happen. Ashley-Cantello points out that the second generation internet has fast become the most powerful tool the environment movement has. "Around 96% of Americans between 11 and 18 are members of an online social network. So when you consider that protecting the environment is a passion of many young people, the potential power of influence of Web 2.0 for the green movement is phenomenal." According to the Forum for the Future, 78% of university applicants in 2007 believed that "lifestyles need to change across the board, or in many areas, for human civilisation to survive the next 100 years". It is, therefore, imperative that our young citizens are given a fair hearing on the decisions that current leaders are making - and online social networking can help achieve this.

A new social networking site, Footprintfriends.com, was set up exclusively to join together young people who share a passion for protecting our natural environment. As a moderated site, it aims to be an enabler for young people aged 11 to 18 to act on their environmental concerns. The site has already attracted hundreds of young people since launching last August. It is set to expand rapidly after establishing a new partnership with the British Standards Institute, which is using the site to promote a Sustainable Students competition, involving about 20,000 schools.

Read the full article here.

Monday, May 19, 2008 9:46:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Guardian recently reports on a survey into ways in which colleges and universities can make computing greener and more sustainable. Preliminary findings of the study is about to be published soon. "Higher Education Environment Performance Improvement (Heepi) and SustainIT, an NGO set up to focus on the environmental and social impact of IT, are researching how sustainable further and higher education IT is, and how education best practice compares with the private sector. The report being written for the Joint Information System Committee (Jisc) says green IT is best achieved through the collaboration of IT and estates management." Among the findings is that increased energy and computing costs can be offset by technologies such as grid computing and virtualisation. According to Peter James, author of the report and is also part-time professor of environmental management at Bradford University and associate director of SustainIT, "Eighty to 90% of a computer's capacity is wasted. By linking PCs together we can run complex computing tasks broken down into manageable chunks when the computers are not in normal classroom use."

The publication of Heepi and SustainIT's interim report in June marks the start of a series of up to seven campus IT open days to be held throughout the UK until October and designed to allow IT managers a chance to see the latest sustainable initiatives for themselves. At least one event will be focused on the further education sector and based around the virtualisation programme at Stockport college.

Read the full article here.

Monday, May 19, 2008 8:50:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2008

OECD, together with the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and the National IT and Telecom Agency, will hold a Workshop on ICTs and Environmental Challenges at Eigtveds Pakhus, Copenhagen, Denmark on 22-23 May 2008. 

The aim of this workshop is to:

  • Take stock of the impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the environment.
  • Identify areas for further analysis of the application and use of ICTs to further environmental goals.
  • Identify opportunities and best practices in the use of ICTs, the Internet and sensor networks in environmental management, energy efficiency, cleaner technologies and improved resource management.
  • Consider policy implications and the development of goals and priorities in efficient buildings, transport and distribution systems that harness the potential of ICT-based systems and sensor networks.
  • Contribute to preparation of the OECD Seoul Ministerial on the Internet Economy, the Hokkaido G8 meeting, and the planned OECD conference in 2009 and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009.

For more information about this workshop, click here or visit the The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the National IT and Telecom Agency's website.

Friday, May 16, 2008 8:05:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 14, 2008

According to an article on The Citizen (Dar es Salaam) on 10 May 2008, toll-free mobile services are on its way to selected remote areas in Africa aiming to save lives by connecting people with emergency medical cases to health personnel. Under the initiative launched in Nairobi on Wednesday, health workers will also be trained through mobile phone sessions on day to day skills like collecting and sharing basic household health information.

Telecommunication equipment provider Ericsson and mobile phone service provider Zain have entered into a partnership that will ensure they provide network access, mobile phone handsets, sim cards and toll-free emergency numbers in remote areas in order to stimulate demand for cellular phone solutions in those areas. The initiative is being rolled out in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. In Kenya, Ericsson and Zain subsidiary, Celtel, are rolling out a pilot programme in North Garissa in Dertu village targeting some 5,200 inhabitants.

According to the President of Ericsson, Mr Carl-Henri Svanberge, the partnership also includes the Earth Institute and will benefit 400,000 people in Africa. "The partnership will provide the development of a comprehensive voice to data coverage and a telecommunication strategy in the villages to drive up mobile connectivity," said Mr Svanberge. The phones will use solar charges which according to Ericsson are capable of charging 30 mobile phones a day.


Read the full article here.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:04:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 07, 2008

McKinsey & Company, with its McKinsey & Company Report: Revolutionizing Data Center Efficiency, provides critical analyses, key findings, and recommendations on data center efficiency.

Some of the key points in the report include:

  • The rapid recent (and projected) growth in the number and size of Data centers creates two significant challenges for enterprises: 1.) Data center facilities spend (CapEx and OpEx) is a large, quickly growing and very inefficient portion of the total IT budget in many technology intensive industries such as financial services and telecommunications. Some intensive data center users will face meaningfully reduced profitability if current trends continue; 2.) For many industries, data centers are one of the largest sources of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. As a group, their overall emissions are significant, in-scale with industries such as airlines. Even with immediate efficiency improvements (and adoption of new technologies) enterprises and their equipment providers will face increased scrutiny given the projected quadrupling of their data-center GHG emissions by 2020.
  • The primary drivers of poor efficiency are poor demand and capacity planning within and across functions (business, IT, facilities), significant failings in asset management (6% average server utilization, 56% facility utilization), and boards, CEOs, and CFOs are not holding CIOs accountable for critical data center facilities CapEx and data center operational efficiency.
  • Improving efficiency is the best near term means to solving the twin challenges of rising spend and GHG emissions. The report proposes a three part solution to double IT energy efficiency by 2012 and to arrest the growth of GHG emissions from data centers: 1.) Rapidly mature and integrate asset management capabilities to reach the same par as the Security function; 2.) Mandate inclusion of true total cost of ownership (including data center facilities) in business case justification of new products and applications to throttle excess demand; and 3.) Formally move accountability for data center critical facilities expense and operations to the CIO and appoint internal “Energy Czars” with an operations and technology mandate to double IT energy efficiency by 2012.
  • To achieve this doubling of energy efficiency CIOs, equipment manufacturers, as well as industry groups in dialog with regulators should quickly establish automotive style “CAFE” metrics that will measure the individual and combined energy efficiency of corporate, public sector and 3rd party hosted data centers. The report proposes one metric that would deliver immediate financial and transparency benefits to executive management of enterprises and could become a government recognized measure of efficiency.

A related OECD meeting on ICT and the Environment will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 22-23 May 2008. A paper on Khazzoom-Brookes postulate and datacenters is also available online. This paper presents how Khazzoom-Brookes have demonstrated that improved efficiency actually results in increased energy consumption as it decreases the overall cost of a product or service and therefore increases demand.

Read more on the McKinsey report here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 11:26:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 28, 2008

The ITU/MIC Kyoto Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change closed 16 April with agreement that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) should play a significant role in the global efforts to combat climate change. The Symposium had six substantive sessions, including:

  • Climate change: ICTs to the rescue?
  • Corporate responsibility: Towards a climate-neutral ICT sector
  • ICTs for monitoring climate change
  • ICTs as a clean technology
  • Towards a high bandwidth, low carbon future
  • Adapting to climate change

A number of actions were recommended for ITU such as assisting countries, in particular developing ones, to raise awareness on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help adapting and mitigating to climate change. Specific areas mentioned are, among others, strengthening the capacity of developing countries to use ICTs for sustainable development, disaster and emergency preparedness, actions on food insecurity, use of remote sensing, assistance to rural communities and coordinated action to assist the most vulnerable countries. Experts also recognized that each country should consider promoting the use of ICT applications for government services (e-Government) from national to local levels, as well as reducing the emission of greenhouse gases through environmentally friendly use of ICTs in other sectors such as public health, education, business and employment.

More information on the Symposium is available in the chairman’s report, the meeting summary and the ITU background report. Presentations from this event can be viewed here. The chairman’s report will be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting in the Republic of Korea, the G8 meeting in Japan and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, will be held 17-18 June in London, hosted by BT. The London event will also be broadcast as a live Webinar. To register online at this event, see here.

Monday, April 28, 2008 2:09:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A presentation on "e-Environment Opportunities for ITU " has been posted online today on the ITU-D ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division (CYB) website. The presentation was made by Robert Shaw, head of the ICT Applications and Cybersecurity division, for the ICTs and Climate Change Symposium in Kyoto, Japan on 15-16 April 2008. It discusses definitions, the ITU report on "ICTs for e-Environment", background and objectives, environmental issues, trends of ICTs for environment, the effects of ICTs, e-Environment and sustainable development, implications for developing countries, and opportunities for ITU. More relevant information on the ITU activities on climate change website and on the CYB e-Environment website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 8:20:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 11, 2008

The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (15-16 April in Kyoto, Japan, co-organized and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) will be available as a webinar in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Provision will also be made for remote participants to submit comments and questions. Space is limited.

Reserve your seat for

- Day 1 at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/862573173.

- Day 2 at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/540961252.

A live audio stream will be provided at: mms://stream.icckyoto.ne.jp/ict/.

Full Programme (times in JST, London -8, New York -13)

ITU Background Paper on ICTs and Climate Change

System requirements

Friday, April 11, 2008 1:29:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In Al Gore's new slideshow on climate change posted yesterday on TED.com, he presents evidence that climate change may could be even worse than scientists were recently predicting, and challenges us to act with a sense of "generational mission" - the kind of feeling that brought forth the civil rights movement - to set it right.

Mr. Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 8:28:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 07, 2008

A recent paper of Andrew Odlyzko of the Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota discusses “the Internet’s role in aggravating and alleviating the energy crises”. The article points out that, since the days of the horse-drawn coach and the penny post in England, people have believed that travel and communications would be substitutes, i.e. an increase in one would result in a decrease in the other. Nevertheless, history has shown that both travel and communications have grown in parallel with economic growth and have been complementing and stimulating each other. This has happened despite – and even because of – technological developments in each of these two areas.

One could conclude from past experience, therefore, that the Internet – as a new form of communication – would cause a continued increase in travel, leading to ever-greater consumption of energy. The article highlights, however, that there is a key difference between the current situation and the past: the very high and growing price of energy. Because of this unique context, the article concludes that the Internet - and greater broadband deployment - may actually bring about a reduction in energy consumption by helping to reduce the need for travel as well as by bringing about other efficiencies.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, April 07, 2008 5:17:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The impact of human activities on the environment – and on climate change in particular – are issues of growing concern confronting life on Earth. Concurrently, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being rapidly deployed around the world. Although ICTs require energy resources, they also offer opportunities to monitor, learn about and protect the environment, reduce carbon emissions, and mitigate climate change.

A scoping study on using ICTs for environmental matters has been commissioned last year by the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. This ICTs for e-Environment report approaches the issues from a development perspective and is based on consultations with key actors and extensive online research. It documents current activities and initiatives and makes a set of recommendations for strengthening the capacity of developing countries to make beneficial use of ICTs to mitigate and adapt to environmental change, including climate change.

The draft report and an overview presentation are available at ITU's ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division dealing with e-Environment matters.

For more information about ITU activities relating to climate change, click here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 11:30:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) issued a press release on the upcoming Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change that aim at reaching a better understanding of the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and climate change.

The International Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change, featuring high-level experts drawn from industry, government and academia as well as key writers on the topic, will seek to provide guidance to the global ICT sector on how to monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate change. The meetings will take place April 15−16 in Kyoto, Japan, co-organized and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC); and 17−18 June 2008 in London, UK, supported and hosted by BT. These events will be available as a webinar so that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Provision will also be made for remote participants to submit comments and questions.

It is estimated that ICTs contribute around 2-2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. These percentages are likely to grow as ICTs become more widely available. At the same time ICTs can be a major linchpin in the effort to combat climate change. ICTs have the potential to serve as a potent, cross-cutting tool to limit and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions across economic and social sectors, in particular by the introduction and development of more energy efficient devices, applications and networks, as well as their environmentally sound disposal. ICT can therefore be a key enabler to a low carbon economy while also promoting growth.

In December 2007, ITU representatives made a statement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, illustrating how ICTs are both a cause and a potential cure for climate change. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon previously underlined ITU’s role in meeting one of the most important challenges facing mankind. "ITU is one of the very important stakeholders in the area of climate change," he said. Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, said, "Unequivocal and authoritative scientific evidence, recent climate events and an increased public awareness have elevated climate change to the highest rungs of the political agenda — globally, regionally and at national levels. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. ITU is committed to achieving climate neutrality and to working with our membership to promote the use of ICTs as an effective tool to combat climate change."

For more information on all ITU activities related to climate change, including e-environment, click here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 11:01:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 14, 2008

Bill St. Arnaud writes about fiber to the home (FTTH) connections on his blog on Green IT/Broadband and Cyberinfrastructure. A presentation quoted of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the European FTTH Council of 28 February 2008 takes into account CO2 emissions that are produced in the construction and deployment of fiber and measure them against the savings of three ICT applications in the area of telecommuting,telemedicine and home assistance. Among others, the main findings are that the environmental impact of the deployment of a typical FTTH network would be positive in less than 14 years regarding the selected services mentioned above. Additional existing or future applications would further emphasize these results.

For more information on the European FTTH Council, click here.

Friday, March 14, 2008 4:25:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 26, 2008

GigaOm Earth2Tech’s 101 Cleantech Startups provides a map showing cleantech hot spots around the globe. The different sectors such as solar, energy storage, biofuels and electric vehicles are all represented by a logo, and each pin on the map has all of the vital stats for each startup (founding year, investors, technology, etc.).

For more information, visit GigaOm's Earth2Tech website.
View the map here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:31:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2008

The ITU-T newslog featured the following entry last Friday:

Senior technical experts have laid down the gauntlet on energy saving in information and communication technologies (ICTs) following a recent meeting in Geneva. Following tutorials on power saving, at a February meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 15, experts agreed to work towards a proposed percentage reduction of power consumption in broadband technologies. The aim is for the agreed figure to form part of a Resolution from the upcoming World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly. Reduction of power consumption should and can be done without the degradation of services according to experts.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has also underlined ITU’s role here saying: "ITU is one of the very important stakeholders in the area of climate change." ITU representatives made a statement at the UN Conference on Climate Change in, illustrating how ICTs are both a cause and a potential cure for climate change.

Speaking during the event attended by over 100 representatives from the ICT industry worldwide for each of its three, hour-long sessions, the Deputy Secretary-General of ITU, Houlin Zhao expressed appreciation that the meetings had proven so popular at such an early stage of the work. He pointed out that ICTs are responsible for 2.5 per cent of carbon emissions. This is roughly the equivalent of the airline industry and would require our urgent attention, he said.

The issue of power saving will be discussed within the wider context of climate change at ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change to be held 15-16 April 2008 in Kyoto (Japan) and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and 17-18 June 2008 in London (Great Britain) and hosted by British Telecom. The events are part of a new initiative by ITU to better understand how ICTs can help mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as monitoring its impact.

Experts speaking at the SG 15 tutorials pointed to inefficiencies in terms of end-device power consumption level compared to the signal power. The deployment of passive optical network (PON) technology is of particular concern as operators worldwide rollout this new technology that some predict will massively increase power demands. Some simple measures, for example specifying power saving modes in network terminations such as: ‘asleep’, ‘standby’, as well as ‘on’ and ‘off’, were cited by speakers. It was also noted that next-generation networks (NGN) can lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing network complexity, and introducing equipment that is more tolerant to natural climatic conditions and therefore does not require air conditioning. Smart buildings, energy supply and transport industries must all play their part in achieving greenhouse gas reductions.

A first and completed task of the ITU experts has been to create a power saving checklist for standards authors. Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU congratulated SG 15 for responding so quickly to the request to address climate change. He urged all Study Groups to start the process of reviewing their Recommendations (ITU’s name for standards) according to the new checklist and assign appropriate metrics regarding reduction of greenhouse gases.

The checklist is intended to ensure that standards are drafted taking into account the most economic and energy-efficient solution, particularly related to energy saving in networks. Experts propose that each new ITU-T Recommendation should contain a clause that identifies its impact on climate change and demonstrates ways that it contributes towards emission reduction, covering both production and the use of the equipment.

To ensure that this work is completed with the highest degree of efficiency there is broad consensus that ITU action has to be taken into account collaborating in partnerships with other bodies working in the field and that everything is done to avoid duplication of work.

For activities carrying out in ITU's Telecommunication Development Sector on ICTs and climate change and e-environment, click here.

Monday, February 25, 2008 10:46:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 15, 2008

A draft paper from Bill St. Arnaud,  entitled ICT and Global Warming Opportunities for Innovation and Economic Growth, is now available online. There has been considerable interest recently about how ICT (Information, Computer, Telecommunications) technologies and how they can address the global challenges of protecting the environment and supporting sustainable development. The subject of ICT and the environment covers a wide range of fields such as sustainable development, using ICT to improve practices in agriculture and forestry, monitoring atmospheric and water pollution, waste management and recycling, improved energy efficiency and, of course ICT as a source of toxic waste in its own right. Although these are all important areas of scientific research and public policy, the intent of the report is not to address the various areas on how ICT can address global environment challenges such as the emission of  Green House Gases (GHG). Instead the purpose of this brief report is to focus on the opportunities for innovation and economic growth that might arise through the use of ICT to address the challenge of GHG emissions.

To date most approaches for using ICT to reduce GHG emissions have focused on "sackcloth and ashes" approach of reducing energy consumption or emission abatement techniques such as tele-commuting, tele-presence, etc.  Various industry consortia and government programs have been set up to promote innovation in these areas. Although these may be worthwhile endeavours, they have been in existence for some time and so far, have made little progress in reducing energy consumption or GHG emissions. Rather than focusing on energy efficiency or abatement techniques, the document aims to demonstrate that ICT can provide much greater opportunities for innovation and economic growth through a strategy of "zero carbon" for the ICT industry itself and using ICT e-products and e-services as a reward mechanism to encourage consumers and businesses to reduce their overall carbon footprint including heating, transportation, etc.

Read the complete draft paper here.
For additional information, please contact the author  or visit the Green/IT and Cyber-infrastructure blog.

Friday, February 15, 2008 9:54:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) recently published its third annual Progress Report 2007. GeSI shares relevant information with its stakeholders and the civil society to support the economic and technological progress on information and communication technologies (ICTs) worldwide. This report highlights GeSI’s recent work on sustainability, specific accomplishments in climate change mitigation, managing supply chains, determining materiality, reducing e-waste, and leading public policy.

With support by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), GeSI is dedicated to the sustainable development of the ICT sector. For more information on GeSI's activities, click here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 6:46:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A presentation on "ICTs and e-Environment - Overview of BDT Scoping Study for Developing Countries" has been posted online today on the ITU-D ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division (CYB) website. The presentation is based on the report "ICTs and e-Environment", which provides an overview on the contribution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and related strategies as tools to assist developing countries in mitigating and adapting to environmental and climate change. The report will be available after final review on the division website.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 5:32:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 04, 2008

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) extended its call for papers for the ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change to 29 February 2008.

The first symposium will be held in Kyoto, Japan (15-16 April 2008, hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication) and will be followed by finalizing the initial proposals at a second symposium in London, UK (17-18 June, hosted by British Telecom). These symposia will bring together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. To contribute to this work, stakeholders are invited to submit an abstract, of maximum 300 words, for a paper or presentation which is relevant to one of more of the topics above.

The topics of interest at the symposia include:

  • Climate change and the impact of ICTs
  • Use of ICTs in monitoring climate change
  • ICTs for mitigating the local effects of climate change
  • ICTs and concerted action against global warming
  • ICT standardization in the field of climate change

For more information on the ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change, click here. For information on ITU's e-environment activities, click here.

Monday, February 04, 2008 1:12:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) recently commissioned a research study to assess current carbon impacts of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and to analyse the role of ICTs in catalyzing transformation to a low-carbon economy. With a focus on both developed and emerging economies, the study aims to:

  • Deliver a globally comprehensive picture of direct and indirect carbon emissions of telecommunications, computing, services and software.
  • Define common themes across the lifecycle of ICTs, identifying critical trends, scenarios and impact assessments for the ICT sector to 2020.
  • Create a ‘road map’ to allow the ICT sector to act now on reducing global energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

To know more about the study, click here.

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is an initiative of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies aimed at improving the sustainability impact of the ICT industry, and is supported by the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Monday, February 04, 2008 12:42:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2008

The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector announces the Study Group 15 tutorials on energy saving techniques to be held on 13-15 February 2008. This activity is in the context of ITU-T's efforts to address climate change issues. "A checklist for developers of standards is already under development in SG 15. The technologies considered in the list include optical transport networks and access network transport technologies such as digital subscriber line (DSL) and Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON). Together these technologies represent a significant consumption of energy worldwide. The idea is that the checklist is applied before the work commences, during the work and after the completion of the work. The use of the checklist should ideally be complemented by involving energy efficiency experts and users in the process."

Other topics in the tutorials include energy efficient Ethernet and opportunities and techniques for power saving in DSL and PON. Also, a general introduction to the issues surrounding ICTs and climate change, (to be addressed in two upcoming ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change), and an update on the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, December 2007, will also be discussed.

More updates on this event on the ITU-T Newslog.
More information on ITU-D's activities involving ICTs and the environment (e-Environment) here.

Friday, February 01, 2008 2:11:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 13, 2007

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) highlighted the role played by information and communication technologies (ICTs) as both a cause and a potential cure for climate change at the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, on 12 December.

ICTs can be used for remote monitoring of climate change and the gathering of crucial scientific data such as using telemetry or remote sensing by satellite. Smart and emerging technologies can be integrated into energy-efficient products, notably in next-generation networks (NGN) where ITU's Standardization sector (ITU-T) is carrying out vital specialized work.

Activities at the ITU's Development Sector (ITU-D) refer to promoting a role for information and communications technologies in the protection of the environment, together with partners from other international organizations and the industry. ITU-D also provides assistance to developing countries in emergency telecommunications as well as in the area of e-waste.

At the UN Conference, ITU raised awareness on standby services of ICT equipment such as computers and PC screens, DVD players, TVs and battery chargers, which places a burden on energy consumption. "Always-on" services, like broadband or mobile phones on standby, have increased energy consumption compared with fixed-line telephones, which do not require an independent power source.

ITU underlined an active commitment to promote the use of ICTs as a positive force to reduce greenhouse emissions and to find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change. In this regard, ITU can support and facilitate scientific studies aimed at implementation of new measures against the negative effects of climate change. As part of a unified effort of the UN system, ITU can contribute in its areas of expertise to support Member States and to foster partnerships with the private sector to develop more energy-efficient technologies.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:59:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are contributing to climate change, but can also provide problem-tackling tools, as the United Nations News Centre reported from a conference on the impact of ICTs on climate change organized by the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development and AIT Global Inc., a global association of management and information technology professionals,on 27-28 November.

Experts and industry leaders highlighted that servers, personal computers and monitors account for more that 60 per cent of global ICT-related carbon emissions, and that product design, manufacturing and internal operations would be essential to minimizing emissions. Even though the paperless office environment has not yet been achieved, industry could develop energy-efficient appliances that shut down automatically when not being used. ICT could also improve the energy efficiency of all economic sectors, for example diagnosing the carbon emissions of products or processes and suggesting their redesign.

To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:55:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) on 15 November 2007 is launching PreventionWeb.net, a new website for increasing knowledge-sharing on natural disaster risk reduction issues. The website will feature news reports, publications, fact sheets, examples of best practices and country reports targeted to both the general public and specialists. Users can also search for information related to disaster risk reduction such as early warning, climate change, health, education, etc.

For more information, please click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:53:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 02, 2007

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, together with other partners, demonstrated how using information and communication technologies (ICTs) and telecommunications networks could result in considerable savings in power-grid infrastructure and electricity consumption, reported the Network World on 22 October.

The test network allowed consumers to select their usage preferences via a web portal. Smart controls-based devices such as virtual thermostats were interconnected with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) through middleware, and using broadband internet. The so-called GridWise project showed that both the power demand at the SOA electricity marketplace could be managed more evenly and customers were in better control of their energy consumption.

For more information on the project, please click here.

Friday, November 02, 2007 11:36:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 22, 2007

Economist.com recently features a report discussing innovation and how industries have become more open to and involved with it. Among these industries are the automotive and the IT industries. Larry Page, co-founder of Google, "had earlier hosted a gathering of leading environmentalists, political thinkers and energy experts to help shape an inducement to get things moving: the Automotive X Prize, expected to be unveiled in early 2008." This project urges both automotive and IT experts to develop the clean, software-rich car. "The organisers will offer at least $10m to whoever comes up with the best 'efficient, clean, affordable and sexy' car able to obtain the equivalent of 100 miles-per-gallon using alternative energy."

The article further discusses the current situation regarding Research and Development around the world, and continues to stress the importance of innovation. "Analysis done by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that competition and innovation (not information technology alone) led to the extraordinary productivity gains seen in the 1990s. 'Those innovations—in technology as well as products and business processes—boosted productivity. As productivity rose, competition intensified, bringing fresh waves of innovation,' the institute explains."

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 22, 2007 10:06:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 05, 2007

A social networking space to address climate change, OneClimate.net, was recently launched by OneWorld. The idea is to act as a ‘Climate Facebook’ to inspire people to protect planet Earth through exchange of experiences, asking questions, etc.

To read the press release, click here.

Friday, October 05, 2007 3:52:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |