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 Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Achieving climate justice is in the interest of all countries and citizens. This was a conclusion of the recent ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change, Quito, Ecuador, 8-10 July 2009, the first ITU Symposium on the topic in a developing country and the first to focus on the concerns of the Americas.

Participants agreed that global effort to combat climate change should not impede the economic and social growth of developing countries and that bridging the digital divide and bringing the benefits of ICTs to all citizens is fundamental to tackling climate change. They recognized that while Latin American and Caribbean countries are minor contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they are often victims of the extreme weather events and other negative impacts of climate change.

Equitable access and ensuring connectivity to schools, rural communities and health facilities are vital to economic development and to making effective use of ICTs to combat climate change. Increased deployment of affordable broadband will help facilitate this participants agreed.  

The conclusions of the symposium also acknowledged the growing problem of e-waste while highlighting the positive role of ICTs as enabling technologies to reduce GHG emissions in other sectors. Increased use of clean renewable energy sources and preservation of the jungles, savannah and oceans, the conclusion says, are key to the future and a real opportunity in Latin America.

Equitable solutions must be found so that the major contributors to GHG emissions cooperate with the countries that are suffering most from climatic impacts or those that are making efforts against deforestation, in particular through reduction of the digital divide and the environmental divide.

The Symposium was attended by 60 virtual as well as 450 physical attendees from 20 countries and was hosted by Centro Internacional de Investigación Científica en Telecomunicaciones, Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (CITIC) Ecuador. The Symposium was chaired by Ing. Jorge Glas Espinel, representing the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Economist Rafael Correa.

A meeting report containing a general summary of the event will be made available from the symposium website.

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