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 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.

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