The United Nations’
technology body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is
calling for a wider use of technology projects in helping countries
adapt to climate change.
At the Durban Summit last week, the ITU
released a study focusing on how an ICT project allowed Ghana’s
cocoa industry to become more resilient to the effects of climate
change. The ITU said Ghana’s case should set an example for other
The study focuses on
how ICT can be used in optimising production by, for example, sharing
information in real time between producers and end users, said Dr
Bilel Jamoussi, chief of the ITU’s Study Groups department, in an
interview with Business Green.
He said ICT has, in general, been
overlooked as a tool for helping developing countries adapt, and that
Ghana’s case demonstrates the value that these countries can find
in technology projects.
“It’s a really
good sign that these countries are seeing how they can adapt”, he
said. “These countries are not always big producers of greenhouse
gases, but they are the most affected [by climate change]”.
The ITU believes that ICT has in
general been overlooked as a way of helping stem climate change and
to adapt to its effects, Jamoussi said.
“Our key goal is
that ICT is viewed as an enabler and plays a central role in
adaptation and mitigation”, Jamoussi told Business Green. “Our
report and recommendations are a concrete example of that”.
As part of its wider
support of ICT’s role in mitigating climate change, the ITU has
created a set of standardized methodologies for assessing the impact
of ICT on the environment, and has participated in other initiatives
such as the development of a standardized, energy-efficient mobile
The ITU gave its approval for the
concept for a universal phone charger in 2009, with the aim of
drastically reducing the number of chargers produced, shipped and
subsequently discarded as new models become available.