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 Friday, August 02, 2013

The 3rd ITU Green Standards Week is set to tackle an agenda featuring ‘Smart Sustainable Cities’, e-waste, mobile device eco-rating schemes, and climate monitoring and disaster warning using submarine communications networks.

The 2013 event is being organized by ITU and hosted by Telefónica at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, 16-20 September 2013, with partners comprising the Basel Convention,CEDARE, UNEP, UNESCO-IOC, the United Nations University, WMO and sponsors such as Huawei and Fujitsu.

Cities are the hubs of innovation that drive economic development, but, particularly in the early years of a city’s growth, urbanization can have adverse effects on the health of the environment and, consequently, that of citizens.

Governments, businesses and technologists are devising ways to encourage a 21st-century brand of urbanization that leverages ICTs to match technological and economic progress with improvements in environmental sustainability and social wellbeing. Standardization is a means through which to ensure that smart-city breakthroughs become accessible to all cities around the world, expanding the number of people to benefit from smarter ways of living and putting more minds to the task of building more environmentally responsible cities.

Green Standards Week’s agenda includes a High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities, the second meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, 17 September, as well as the prize-giving for the Telefónica-supported 3rd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, 18 September. The week’s discussions will take shape as follows:

  • 16 September 2013: ITU, UNEP, UNU, CEDARE Forum on e-Waste
  • 17 September 2013 (morning): Forum on Greening Mobile Devices: Building Eco-Rating Schemes
  • 17 September 2013 (afternoon): 2nd Meeting of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 18 September 2013: High Level Segment on Smart Sustainable Cities
  • 19-20 September 2013 (morning): 3rd ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Workshop on Propelling a Pilot Project on Green Cables
  • 20 September 2013 (afternoon): Closed Meeting of the ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Joint Task Force on Submarine Communications Networks For Climate Monitoring and Disaster Warning

The event is free of charge and open to all interested parties, also offering online ‘remote participation’.

Interested stakeholders are invited to take up a sponsorship at ITU Green Standards Week 2013.

Green Standards Week will offer exceptional opportunities to reach highly influential audiences, both broad and targeted.

For more information on the programme and sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Find more information, including practical information on hotels and visas and details of how to register as an onsite or online participant, here.

Find more information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change here.

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Friday, August 02, 2013 1:43:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 29, 2013

ITU-T events in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso have strengthened African regional positions on standardization to enhance environmental responsibility and quality of service (QoS); calling for harmonized regional policy on imports of ICT equipment and the management of e-waste, and sharing knowledge of national experiences in maintaining adequate QoS for Africa’s rapidly expanding communications networks.

Organized by ITU and hosted by Burkina Faso’s Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), two capacity-building workshops – free of charge and open to all – accompanied meetings of the African ‘Regional Groups’ tasked with coordinating African contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Groups 5 (Environment and climate change) and 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE).

A workshop on "Building a Sustainable Future through Green ICT Standards", 15-16 July, introduced participants to the activities of SG5 and its Regional Group for Africa (SG5 RG-AFR). It discussed the role of ICT in tackling climate change in Africa and challenges and opportunities associated with e-waste, also offering a technical tutorial on Green ICT standards. A session sought to refine the priorities of SG5 RG-AFR to fuel the discussions of the Regional Group meeting, 16-17 July, which subsequently reached significant conclusions:

  • Emphasis was placed on the need for a Green ICT Roadmap for the African region.
  • Recognizing that local ICT players are predominantly importers, rather than manufacturers, of ICT equipment, participants stressed the need for countries to harmonize their relevant trade policies accordingly; a move which would strengthen their collective bargaining position.
  • Participants noted the need for a regional e-Waste Roadmap and support was expressed for the multi-stakeholder approach to e-waste management recommended by the East Africa Communications Organisation (EACO).

A second workshop on “Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks”, 18 July, fulfilled a similar function to the ‘Green ICT’ workshop by providing an opportunity for high-level discussion and information exchange in the run-up to the meeting of the SG12 Regional Group for Africa (SG12 RG-AFR) on 19 July.

Ensuring QoS in today’s converged, increasingly IP-based, communications ecosystem is a complex challenge, and even more so for African countries experiencing an unrelenting surge in demand for communications services and consequent network performance concerns.

The workshop and meeting of SG12 RG-AFR attracted regulators as well as operators, with discussions around ‘Mobile QoS’ highlighting the importance of the topic to the region. Participants discussed the draft new Recommendation ITU-T E.MQoS on mobile QoS parameters, a methodology which looks at mobile QoS parameters from a user’s perspective, and Morocco presented its national experience in mobile Internet QoS evaluation. ‘Broadband Internet QoS’ followed, introducing the country cases of Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Rwanda, and discussing QoS contractual parameters (with reference to Recommendation ITU-T E.803) and the way to harmonize non-standardized parameters with standards.

More information on ITU-T, the Environment and Climate Change is available here.

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Monday, July 29, 2013 10:00:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Les TIC vertes et la qualité de service sont le thème de réunions organisées au Burkina Faso

La ville de Ouagadougou, au Burkina Faso, sera l'hôte de réunions de l'UIT consacrées aux TIC et aux changements climatiques, ainsi qu'à la qualité de service et à la qualité d'expérience, du 15 au 19 juillet 2013.

Ces réunions seront organisées avec la collaboration de l'Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes (ARCEP) du Burkina Faso.

La participation à la première de ces réunions, un atelier intitulé "Bâtir un avenir durable par l'adoption de normes sur les TIC vertes", est gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier aura pour objet de sensibiliser à l'importance de l'utilisation de normes TIC dans l'édification d'une économie verte. Les séances, qui mettront plus particulièrement l'accent sur la région Afrique, porteront, entre autres, sur le rôle des TIC dans la lutte contre les effets des changements climatiques, sur les opportunités offertes par les TIC vertes et sur les enjeux qu'elles représentent, sur les déchets d'équipements électriques et électroniques et sur la formation à l'utilisation de normes relatives aux TIC vertes.

Après cet atelier qui durera un jour et demi, le Groupe régional pour l'Afrique de la Commission d'études 5 (CE 5 RG-AFR) de l'UIT-T tiendra sa première réunion les 16 et 17 juillet. Cette réunion sera ouverte aux seuls Membres de l'UIT-T. La Commission d'études 5 est la Commission d'études de l'UIT-T qui étudie les interactions entre les TIC et les changements climatiques. Elle examine aussi les questions de compatibilité électromagnétique, qui est une préoccupation majeure dans les pays en développement.

Un atelier sur le thème "Etablir des critères de référence pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias" aura lieu le 18 juillet. La participation à cet atelier sera, là aussi, gratuite et ouverte à tous. Cet atelier facilitera les discussions du Groupe régional de la CE 12 sur la qualité de service pour la région Afrique (CE 12 RG-AFR); il donnera en effet des informations sur l'établissement de critères pour l'évaluation de la qualité de service des réseaux multimédias. Le lendemain, le 19 juillet, le Groupe CE 12 RG-AFR tiendra sa première réunion, à laquelle ne pourront participer que les Membres de l'UIT. La Commission d'études 12, qui axe ses travaux sur les normes de qualité de fonctionnement et de qualité de service, joue un rôle de plus en plus important du fait de la mise en service des réseaux commerciaux VoIP et des réseaux à commutation par paquets.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 5.

Cliquer ici pour en  savoir plus sur la Commission d'études 12.

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus sur les travaux de l'UIT-T concernant l'environnement et les changements climatiques.

 

Burkina Faso events focus on Green ICT and Quality of Service

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will play host to ITU events focussing on ICT and climate change as well as quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) from 15 to 19 July 2013.

The events will be held in collaboration with the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) of Burkina Faso.

The first event, Building a Sustainable Future Through Green ICT Standards, is free and open to all and will serve as a platform to raise awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy. With special focus on the African region, sessions will include the role of ICTs in tackling climate change, green ICT opportunities and challenges, e-waste and training on green ICT standards.

Following that one and a half day event, the first meeting of the ITU-T Study Group 5 Regional Group for Africa (SG5  RG-AFR) will take place between 16 and 17 July. This event is open only to ITU-T Members. Study Group 5 is the ITU-T Study Group responsible for studies on the interplay between ICTs and climate change. Also under its mandate is electromagentic compatibility (EMC), a major concern in developing countries.

July 18 will see a workshop on Benchmarking QoS Evaluation of Multimedia Networks. This event, also free and open, will facilitate the meeting of the Regional Group of Study Group 12 on QoS for the Africa Region (SG12 RG-AFR) by providing information on benchmarking of QoS evaluation of multimedia networks. The first meeting of SG12 RG-AFR will follow on July 19, this event is for ITU Members only. Study Group 12 focuses on standards for performance and QoS, a role that is increasingly important with the advent of commercial VoIP and packet-based networks.

Find more about Study Group 5 here.

Find more about Study Group 12 here.

Find out more on ITU-T's work on the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:38:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Celebramos en Latinoamérica talleres sobre campos electromagnéticos y residuos electrónicos

El próximo mes de agosto se celebrarán en Quito (Ecuador) dos talleres gratuitos que reunirán a expertos de Latinoamérica y del mundo, del ámbito de las nuevas tecnologías y el medio ambiente, la política, los negocios y la regulación, para discutir sobre un adecuado reciclaje de desechos eléctricos y la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) creados por las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

La industria de las TIC sigue creciendo e innovando a un ritmo inigualable con otras industrias. La velocidad de la expansión de la industria y la rapidez a la que sus productos y servicios evolucionan nos colocan frente a importantes desafíos en la gestión de los desechos electrónicos, así como la resistencia de las comunidades a la construcción de antenas e instalaciones TIC en su entorno.

Los residuos eléctricos se están convirtiendo, en especial, en un reto ambiental importante. La Universidad de Naciones Unidas (UNU) estima que en 2013 se han producido hasta la fecha 53 millones de toneladas de desechos electrónicos, una cifra cuantificada mejor a través de otra estimación y es que se han introducido 67 millones de toneladas de nuevos aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos en el mercado durante este período de tiempo.

Teniendo en cuenta esta situación, la UIT y Telefónica están organizando dos talleres de forma conjunta en Quito. El próximo 13 de agosto tendrá lugar el primer de ellos, sobre el manejo ambientalmente responsable de los desechos electrónicos en América Latina, mientras que el próximo 14 de agosto, el taller se centrará en la exposición a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM).

El taller de desechos electrónicos reunirá a los principales expertos, con el fin de identificar los medios de mejorar la gestión de estos desechos a través de la cooperación regional, de unos marcos regulatorios eficientes y de asociaciones público-privadas capaces de aprovechar este reto, para crear nuevas oportunidades de trabajo sostenible en el reciclaje de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos.El taller sobre campos electromagnéticos responde a la resolución de la UIT No. 72 AMNT-12 sobre "Problemas de medición relativos a la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos". El evento ofrecerá una visión general de las políticas y normas que informan sobre la responsabilidad de los campos electromagnéticos emitidos por las instalaciones TIC, su regulación y otros temas importantes dentro de la agenda sobre seguridad en las comunicaciones inalámbricas.

Estos eventos forman parte del programa de asociación UIT-T/Telefónica para reducir la brecha de normalización y promover normas TIC ecológicas en América Latina.

Más información sobre los talleres se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre las TIC, medio ambiente y cambio climático se puede encontrar aquí.

Más información sobre las actividades del UIT-T sobre la exposición humana a los campos electromagnéticos (CEM) se puede encontrar aquí.

Workshops in Latin America on e-waste and electromagnetic fields

Quito, Ecuador will, in August, see two free of charge, open-to-all workshops bringing together the region’s ICT and environmental experts, from the policy, business and standardization spheres, to discuss the environmentally sound management of e-waste and the responsible consideration of human exposure to the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that underpin wireless communications.

The ICT industry continues to grow and innovate at a pace matched by few, if any, other industry sectors. The speed of the industry’s expansion and the rate at which its products and services evolve gives rise to significant challenges in the management of e-waste as well as in communities’ resistance to the scaled-up construction of ICT installations in their surrounds.

e-Waste in particular is growing into a challenge of considerable weight. The United Nations University (UNU) estimates that 2013 has so far produced 53 million tons of e-waste, a figure best quantified through a comparison with UNU’s estimate that 67 million tons of new electrical and electronic goods have been introduced to the market in the same timeframe.

A workshop jointly organized by ITU and Telefónica on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste in Latin America”, 13 August 2013, will be followed by an ITU workshop on “Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields”, 14 August 2013, with both workshops kindly hosted by Telefónica in Quito, Ecuador.

The e-waste workshop will bring together key stakeholders in the region to identify means of improving the management of e-waste through regional cooperation, efficient regulatory frameworks, and public-private partnerships capable of leveraging the e-waste challenge to create new, sustainable job opportunities in the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic goods.

The EMF workshop responds to WTSA-12 Resolution 72, “Measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields”. The event will provide an overview of the policies and standards that inform the responsible consideration of EMFs emitted by ICT installations, giving regulators and other stakeholders insight into central tenets of safety in wireless communications.

These events are part of the ITU-T/Telefónica partnership programme to bridge the standardization gap and promote green ICT standards in Latin America.

More information on the workshops can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on ICTs, Environment and Climate Change can be found here

More information on ITU-T activities on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) can be found here

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:29:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Today it is estimated that 65 per cent of the world’s population live in cities, with the number set to grow as 1.3 million people move into urban areas every week. This migration has contributed to the rise of megacities, of which there were only three in 1975, now 21 and rising. Experts predict that by 2050 more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas.

To face the challenge of this growing population and meet the rising demand of resources and services, cities need to move towards a path of sustainable growth and development, while remaining respectful of the environment. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be the driver for such solutions.

And here is where you come in...

Now in its third year, ITU and Telefónica are delighted to again present their Green ICT Application Challenge, inviting developers to submit the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help build Smart Sustainable Cities and achieve environmental sustainability in urban areas.

Ideas for topic areas are:

  • Energy management
  • Water management and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Transport and mobility
  • Urban planning, including smart buildings
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Smart societies, community engagement and environmental education

The challenge is open to individuals from ITU Member States, and the author of the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT Application will be awarded a 5,000 USD cash prize in Madrid, Spain on 18 September 2013 during the 3rd ITU Green Standards Week.

But hurry… submission ends on 15 July 2013 at 12:00 PM CET.

For more information please click here

Learn more about ITU-T’s work on ICTs, the environment and climate change here.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:38:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013

An upcoming Joint ATU-ITU Seminar on the outcomes of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) and the World Conference on International Telecommunications ( WCIT-12) will offer Africa’s ICT executives and policy makers an insight into the meaning and significance of these conference’s outcomes with a view to ensuring their effective implementation. The event will be preceded by two workshops geared towards key directives issued by WTSA-12 and WCIT-12, that of countering spam and ensuring the eco-friendly management of e-waste. The two full-day workshops are free of charge and open to all interested parties, including non-members of ITU.

The three events will be hosted by South Africa’s Department of Communications at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa:

The 2012 meeting of ITU-T’s main decision-making body, WTSA, adopted the first-ever Resolutions on e-health, software-defined networking and e-waste. ITU-T also saw its mandate re-emphasized and strengthened in crucial areas such as accessibility, climate change, and conformity and interoperability, along with encouragement for the greater participation of academia.

WCIT-12’s revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) was especially relevant to ITU-T, with the new treaty requiring Member States to encourage the application of relevant ITU-T Recommendations in areas including Quality of Service (QoS), numbering, international calling line identification, international roaming, emergency communications, countering spam, energy-efficiency, e-waste and accessibility. WCIT-12 also called on ITU-T to study the regulatory, technical and economic issues which need to be addressed in the transition from dedicated phone and data networks to converged IP-based networks.

The workshop on “Countering and Combating Spam” responds to Article 7 of the new ITRs on “unsolicited bulk electronic communications” which encourages Member States to cooperate in taking necessary measures to prevent the propagation of spam and minimize its impact on international telecommunication services.

The workshop on the “Environmentally Sound Management of e-Waste” responds to Article 8 of the new ITRs which encourages Member States to adopt energy-efficiency and e-waste best practices, taking into account relevant ITU-T Recommendations. WTSA-12 offered another boost to ITU’s mandate in this arena by agreeing a new Resolution on e-waste; giving further impetus to ITU’s standardization work on the subject and requesting ITU’s standardization and development sectors, ITU-T and ITU-D, to assist Member States in instituting policy frameworks that limit e-waste’s negative environmental effects. It also instructs ITU-T Study Group 5 to develop Recommendations, methodologies and other publications relating to handling and controlling e-waste as well as methods of treating it.

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Friday, June 14, 2013 9:16:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 10, 2013

The recent meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has seen the launch of a new Focus Group to hasten standards development in the key area of Smart Water Management.

The formation of the Focus Group on Smart Water Management (FG-SWM) responds to the Luxor Call to Action emanating from a workshop held in Luxor, Egypt, 14-15 April 2013.

The event highlighted the necessity of a multi-stakeholder approach to the development of ‘smart’ water-management systems; one that incorporates the views of irrigation, agriculture, environment and communications ministries as well as those of the ICT industry and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

FG-SWM is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Collect and document information on national, regional and international smart water management initiatives; reporting on current activities and technical specifications.
  • Specify the roles to be played by ICTs in smart water management.
  • Develop a list mapping key stakeholders involved in the area of ICTs and smart water management.
  • Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess the impact achieved through the use of ICTs in water-management systems.
  • Develop a set of methodologies for estimating the impact of ICTs on water conservation.
  • Identify water-management ICT applications and services with the potential to ensure interoperability and the benefits of economies of scale.
  • Draft technical reports that address standardization gaps and identify new standardization work items to be taken up by its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change).

The new Focus Group will work in close collaboration with the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC) established in February 2013 (read an earlier newslog article on the formation of FG-SSC here).

Learn more about ITU-T’s work on ICTs, the environment and climate change here.

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Monday, June 10, 2013 11:32:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The ITU-T L.1410 and L.1420 Recommendations to assess the environmental impacts of ICTs are among 10 international methodologies to have been pilot-tested in Europe’s bid to establish and converge around a common international framework to assess the energy and emission footprint of the ICT sector.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1410 “Methodology for environmental impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) goods, networks and services” provides a standardized way to assess the direct environmental impact of ICT goods, networks and services, as well as their indirect impact on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of non-ICT industry sectors. It is based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology standardized in ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.

ITU-T L. 1420 “Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in organizations” standardizes the requirements with which an organization should comply when assessing energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is based on ISO 14064-1.

In a study led by the European Commission, 27 leading ICT companies and associations engaged in a 10-month trial of measurement methodologies developed by entities including international standards development organizations (SDOs) such as ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), ISO, IEC, ETSI and the GHG Protocol.

The study was commissioned by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT as part of its ICT Footprint initiative which aims to test the workability and compatibility of ‘footprinting’ methodologies in the ICT sector, with the overarching goal of building consensus and engendering convergence around a “common methodological framework for the measurement of the energy consumption and carbon emissions arising from the production, transport and selling processes of ICT goods, networks and services.”

The results of the study are detailed in a report titled “ICT Footprint: Pilot testing on methodologies for energy consumption and caron footprint of the ICT-sector”.

The pilots recognized Recommendation ITU-T L.1420 as the only available international reporting methodology to assess ICT-related energy consumption and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in ICT organizations as well as ICT-related activities within non-ICT organizations.

As regards products, networks and services, similarities were found between Recommendation ITU-T L.1410 and ETSI TS 103 199 "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services: General methodology and common requirements with the goal to develop a common ITU-T/ETSI Methodology for ICT products, networks and services".

The report concludes by recommending actions through which policy makers, SDOs and industry can accelerate the drive towards a common international ICT-footprinting framework. The pilot-testing has proven that the work performed by ITU-T is resulting in robust deliverables and should be leveraged as a basis for future enhancements.

Acting on suggestions from the pilot-testing report, ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) and the ETSI Technical Committee on Environmental Engineering (ETSI TC EE) are collaborating on the revision of their respective standards, Recommendation ITU-T L. 1410 and ETSI TS 103 199.

A first meeting between the two expert groups will discuss a roadmap for this collaboration. Kindly hosted by ETSI, the meeting will be held in Sophia Antipolis, France, 27-31 May 2013. Details can be found here.

Read more on ITU-T Study Group 5 here

Read more on ITU-T and climate change here

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:29:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 09, 2013

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a crucial role to play in tackling the developmental challenges facing the cities that are becoming our primary choice of habitation in the 21st century, concluded participants attending the 8th ITU Symposium on ICT and Environment Change, held in Turin, 6-7 May.

An estimated 65% of the world’s population now lives in cities. With an additional 1.3 million people moving from rural to urban areas every week, by 2050 more than six billion people will be living in urban agglomerations. In addition, the size of conurbations continues to grow, with the number of mega-cities of over 10 million inhabitants growing from just two in 1950 to 22 by 2015, 17 of which will be located in the developing world.

The symposium highlighted the importance of a globally coordinated approach and internationally standardized technologies in the creation of new ‘smart sustainable cities’. Greater integration of ICTs into urban planning will greatly facilitate opportunities for economic growth and social well-being, from better access to education and healthcare through to improved prospects of employment and living standards. The symposium concluded by issuing a call for stronger advocacy at the international level and for ICT policies to be integrated into the ongoing dialogues on urban development within the UN and other organizations.

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU, “Rapid urbanization and high-density populations foment innovation and economic growth but also give rise to social, economic and environmental challenges, as cities’ infrastructures develop slower than the influx of new inhabitants. ICTs can make our cities safer, cleaner, and more convenient places to live.”

Full press release

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Thursday, May 09, 2013 2:32:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013

Participants in an ITU workshop held for the benefit of government and private-sector technology leaders in the Nile River Basin have agreed a Call to Action which charges ITU with mobilizing its global membership to enable ‘smart’ water management.

The ‘smart’ integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in water networks adds communication, monitoring, analysis and control capabilities, increasing efficiency and reliability in water supply, improving delivery of water to crucial sectors like agriculture and health, and reducing water consumption and waste.

The ITU workshop ‘ICT as an enabler for smart water management’, was held in Luxor, Egypt, from 14-15 April 2013, hosted by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The event was the first of its kind, and reflects the growing importance and acceleration of smart-water standardization work in ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “The importance of sufficient supplies of good quality water is recognized in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to halve the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. One of the many ways in which ICT will be central to the post-2015 development agenda is through supporting greater agility and efficiency in water management frameworks.”

Full press release

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Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:54:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 17, 2013

“Smart Sustainable Cities” is the theme of the 8th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change to be held in Turin, Italy, 6-7 May 2013. The free of charge event is open to all and will bring together a global selection of specialists in the field – from top policy makers to thought leaders in business, engineering, standardization and research – to critique recent efforts in the development of smart cities and to determine the best path forward in the task of leveraging ICTs to enhance cities’ environmental sustainability.

The 2013 Symposium is organized by ITU in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and will be hosted by Telecom Italia at its innovation laboratories in Turin. The event builds on the success of previous Symposia held from 2008 to 2012 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul, Cairo, Accra and Montreal.

The upcoming Turin Symposium will address challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to a greener, more resource-efficient global economy through mitigation and adaptation to climate change; tackling e-waste; disaster preparedness; methodologies to assess the environmental impacts of ICTs; and cost-effective ICTs to empower smart cities and societies. Items on the Symposium’s agenda include:

  • Energy efficiency, clean power and the smart grid as engines for urban sustainable growth
  • Assessing environmental impacts in cities 
  • Integrated ICT solutions for smart sustainable cities and empowered citizens
  • Tackling e-waste and solid waste issues in cities
  • ICTs to monitor the climateClimate change adaptation and emergency telecommunications in urban areas
  • Smart sustainable cities

The Symposium will be held in conjunction with the first meeting of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities, 8 May 2013, and a Workshop on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, 9 May 2013.

Find more information on the Symposium including details of how to register here.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 3:54:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Geneva, 3 April 2013 – Representatives of Central American governments, private companies, universities and non-governmental organizations have agreed on a 20-point Agenda aiming to promote advances in the handling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or ”e-waste”) in the region. Key will be the application and identification of business models that leverage recycling opportunities and create new employment.

The new Agenda was agreed by the 86 participants in the ITU/UNEP Workshop for Capacity Building on Environmentally Responsible Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), organized in San Salvador, March 19-21 with the support of ITU Sector Member Telefónica.

The Agenda emphasizes increased collaboration between all parties, as well as the development of online learning programmes and workshops aimed at policy-makers. It calls on ITU and UNEP/PACE to assist Central America and the Caribbean in the development of regulations, legislation and international standards to mitigate e-waste’s potentially damaging effects on the environment and the health of local populations.

Full press release

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013 1:52:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 28, 2013

An upcoming ITU workshop on ICT as an Enabler for Smart Water Management will be held in Luxor, Egypt on 14-15 April 2013.

Economic growth, seasonal climatic conditions and rising population are all affecting availability of water resources. Moreover, a number of effects linked to climate change, such as lengthy droughts and extreme weather events, are worsening the situation. Water shortages are at the core of many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to reduce by half the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. According to the UN World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.

ICT provides a unique opportunity for water stakeholders to obtain information in near real-time about a number of physical and environmental variables such as temperature, soil moisture levels and rainfall through web enabled sensors and communication networks. Smart metering technologies can also provide individuals, businesses and water companies with information about their own water use, thus raising awareness about usage, locating leakages and having better control over water demand.

Organized by ITU at the kind invitation of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Egypt this first ITU workshop to address this serious topic will address a number of issues including: weather forecasting; technological solutions and standards; smart metering; climate smart agriculture; water governance, institutions and regulations; stakeholder engagement; and planning water resources and land use.

It will result in a Call For Action for countries in the Nile River Basin area to implement best practices for smart water management in agriculture, consumption in cities, river flow forecasting to prevent calamities such as flooding and identification of leakages in the water distribution network.

More.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:43:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 26, 2013

San Salvador, El Salvador will host a “Central American Workshop for Capacity Building on Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)”, 19-21 March 2013. The workshop will provide training on the application of global best practices in environmentally responsible e-waste management, covering e-waste’s collection, repair, refurbishment, recycling and disposal.
 
Electrical and electronic waste (known as ‘WEEE’ or ‘e-waste’) is the world’s fastest-growing source of waste. Eco-friendly disposal and recycling mechanisms will mitigate e-waste’s negative environmental and health effects, but will also create new employment opportunities while recycling critical raw materials and decreasing resource-dependency.  
 
The upcoming workshop is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Secretariat of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions (SBSR), a body administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The event is organized in partnership with the Basel Convention Regional Center for Central America and Mexico (BCRC-CAM); the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD); the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador (MARN); the Central American Regional Technical Commission on Telecommunications (COMTELCA); the Salvadoran General Superintendency for Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGET); and the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) established under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
 
The workshop is the first joint training activity undertaken by ITU and SBSR, and participation is free of charge.
 
The event will outline e-waste management methods detailed by ITU’s international standards (ITU-T Recommendations) and ITU’s Toolkit on End of Life Management for ICT Equipment.
 
The workshop will also present PACE’s Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) Criteria Recommendations; its Guideline on Environmentally Sound Testing, Refurbishment and Repair of Used Computing Equipment; its Guideline on Environmentally Sound Material Recovery/Recycling of End-of-Life Computing Equipment; and its Guidance on Transboundary Movement (TBM) of Used and End-of-Life Computing Equipment.
 
Other sessions will discuss the role that standards and policies play in tackling e-waste by encouraging the application of global environmental best practices and by underscoring the implementation of national and regional e-waste management strategies.
 
The workshop will conclude with a session inviting equipment manufacturers, government representatives and leading e-waste recycling specialists to discuss the development of Central America’s sub-regional systems for e-waste’s repair, refurbishment, recycling and disposal.
 
The workshop will be conducted in English and Spanish.
 
More information on the workshop, including a provisional programme and an online registration form, can be found here
 
More information on ITU-T activities on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change can be found here

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:41:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ITU-T has established a new Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities to assess the standardization requirements of cities aiming to boost their social, economic and environmental sustainability through the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their infrastructures and operations.

ITU-T Study Group 5 – Environment and climate change – agreed the formation of the new Focus Group at its meeting in Geneva, 29 January to 7 February 2013.

The creation of the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities answers a Call to Action on “Smart Sustainable Cities” proposed in September 2012 at ITU’s 2nd Green Standards Week in Paris. “Smart Sustainable Cities’’ is also the theme of ITU’s 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge.

Cities are powerful engines of economic growth, fuelled by intensive interpersonal communication and high concentrations of specialized skills. Urbanization’s advantages are however mirrored by significant sustainability challenges, with cities today accounting for over 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 60-80 per cent of global energy consumption.

Given that an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, sustainable urbanization has become a key policy point to administrations across the world. Here ICTs have a crucial role to play by increasing environmental efficiency across industry sectors and enabling such innovations as intelligent transport systems (ITS) and "smart" water, energy and waste management.

The Focus Group will act as an open platform for smart-city stakeholders – such as municipalities; academic and research institutes; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and ICT organizations, industry forums and consortia – to exchange knowledge in the interests of identifying the standardized frameworks needed to support the integration of ICT services in smart cities.

 

Focus Group leadership team:

Chairman 
   -    Silvia Guzman, Telefónica

Vice-Chairmen 
   -    Pablo Bilbao, Federation Argentina de Municipios

   -    Flavio Cucchietti, Telecom Italia

   -    Sekhar Kondepudi, National University of Singapore

   -    Nasser Saleh Al Marzouqi, UAE

   -    Franz Zichy, USA

   -    Ziqin Sang, Fiberhome Technologies Group


Specific tasks and deliverables of the Focus Group include:

   - Defining the role of ICTs in environmentally sustainable smart cities, and identifying the ICT systems necessary to the development of a Smart Sustainable City.

   - Collecting and documenting information on existing smart city initiatives and technical specifications, focusing in particular on the identification of standardization gaps.

   - Identifying or developing a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge the success of smart-city ICT deployments.

   - Establishing relationships and liaison mechanisms with other bodies engaged in smart-city studies and development.

   - Identifying future smart-city standardization projects to be undertaken by its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 5.

   - Developing a roadmap for the ICT sector’s contribution to Smart Sustainable Cities, providing cohesion to the development and application of technologies and standards.

 

The meeting also agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the latest addition to ITU-T’s L.1400 series of standardized methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICTs. The consent adds “ICT projects” to the list of ICT deployment scenarios covered by ITU-T’s environmental impact assessment methodologies. The new methodology (ITU-T L.1430) provides a framework to measure reductions in GHG emissions and energy consumption resulting from implementations of ICT projects including smart buildings, smart transport, and telepresence or videoconferencing services.

More information on ITU-T, Environment and Climate Change here

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:54:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2013

The submission deadline for the 3rd Green ICT Application Challenge has been extended from 30 April to 30 June 2013. The Challenge has also welcomed new supporters in the United Nations University (UNU), Solving the e-Waste Problem (StEP) and BlueVia.
 
Organized by ITU in partnership with Telefónica, the Challenge will award a prize of 5,000 USD to the creator of the app that best promotes Smart Sustainable Cities and environmental sustainability in urban areas.
 
Developers can submit concepts individually or as part of a team. Submissions must be original and should deal with one of the following subjects: transport and mobility; management of energy, water, health services or waste; adaptation to climate change; town planning, including smart buildings; and smart sustainable societies, community participation and environmental education.
 
The winner will be selected according to criteria including impact, scalability, the degree of innovation, feasibility, the quality of the implementation plan and the business model. In addition, priority will be given to applications that can help developing countries to solve environmental problems in an urban context.
 
The Challenge launched 20 December 2012. Full Press Release here

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Friday, February 01, 2013 12:06:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ITU members have agreed first-stage approval (consent) of a new Universal Power Adapter standard for devices such as modems, set-top boxes, home networking equipment and fixed telephones.

ITU-T Study Group 5 – Environment and climate change – consented the new draft Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 standardizing the requirements of “External universal power adapter (UPA) solutions for ICT equipment for stationary use”.

The standard will complement ITU’s very successful Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000); enacting further energy savings, reductions in e-waste and heightened consumer convenience by expanding the concept’s application to the vast majority of ICT devices.

As with ITU-T L.1000, ITU-T L.1001 will also work to the benefit of countries not equipped with reliable AC grids as it will be compatible with standalone AC produced by renewable energy sources including the 5V and 12V power interfaces of small photovoltaic systems (solar energy).

Recommendation ITU-T L.1001 will reduce the number of power adapters manufactured by widening the range of compatible devices, facilitating their reuse and recycling, and increasing their build-quality and resilience to overvoltages in such a way that UPAs will enjoy a lifespan of no less than 10 years. By serving more ICT devices, over an increased lifespan, the standardized adapters will drive substantial reductions in energy consumption, limit device duplication, reduce strain on raw materials and enable enormous reductions in e-waste.

A study carried out by the University of Genoa, commissioned by ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)  estimates that the widespread adoption of an energy-efficient UPA solution will eliminate an estimated 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.  In addition, the study shows it could reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of external power supplies by between 25 and 50 per cent. The report outlining the findings of the study is available here

The new standard includes basic configurations and general requirements of UPAs and their interfaces: cable; connectors; voltage; current; ripple; noise; energy efficiency; safety; electromagnetic compatibility; resistibility and eco-environmental specifications. The UPAs are designed for ICT devices in people’s homes, and provide a low-voltage input to a device by converting the AC mains voltage to a low-voltage DC output.
Future capabilities of the standard could include compatibility with a DC interface from renewable energy systems or power sockets found in transportation systems (boats, trains, planes, buses, etc.).

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 5, please see the group’s webpage here

More on ITU-T’s activities on ICTs, the environment and climate change here

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:11:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paris Declaration urges ITU to take lead in global green ICT strategies

Geneva, 24 September 2012 – Industry leaders outlined their commitment to a green agenda with a Declaration issued at the end of ITU’s Green Standards Week which was organized together with TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft in Paris. Agreed by over 150 participants from the private and public sectors, the document includes carbon commitments from leading ICT companies including:  Alcatel-Lucent; AT&T; Cisco; Dell; Fujitsu; Hewlett Packard; Huawei; Infosys; Intel; KPN; Microsoft; Nokia Siemens Networks; Orange, Telecom Italia and Telefónica.

Full press release

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:03:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 20, 2012

ITU, the Ministry of Communications of Ghana, the National Communications Authority of Ghana and the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, in cooperation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, have published a report Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Information & Communications Technologies (ICTs): the Case of Ghana.

The report written by Angelica Valeria Ospina (University of Manchester), Cristina Bueti (ITU), Keith Dickerson and David Faulkner (Climate Associates), focuses on exploring an increasingly important question: How can developing countries effectively integrate ICT tools within climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies?

Ghana’s experience, illustrated in the report, demonstrates that ICTs can help developing countries to unlock those opportunities, and overcome the challenges posed by climate change through e-enabled adaptation and mitigation responses.

The contribution of this report is two-fold. It presents the potential of ICTs towards adaptation and mitigation through the concrete case of Ghana, illustrating the challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries in this field. The report complements this analysis by offering concrete lessons learned and practical suggestions aimed at developing country decision makers and practitioners, thus fostering the adoption of novel, ICT-supported approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The case of Ghana represents a successful model to be replicated in other developing countries to build resilience against climate change using ICTs.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:17:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In support of the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All”, ITU together with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the University of Genoa has issued a new report, “Boosting energy efficiency through Smart Grids”. This report, which was officially launched at the second ITU Green Standards Week held in Paris, France  on 17-21 September, details how information and communication technologies (ICT) help mitigate climate change by making energy management more efficient.

ICTs represent the pillars for the development of a “smarter” electric grid, which can help meet the challenge of delivering electricity more efficiently and reliably in our societies and extending the reach of electrical services to worldwide regions that are still excluded.

“This report gives a brief understanding about the possible path toward “green” ICT, which is the implementation of power-aware and conscious devices for communication and information management”, say Franco Davoli, Matteo Repetto, University of Genoa, Italy; Carlo Tornelli, Gianluigi Proserpio, RSE, Milan, Italy and Flavio Cucchietti, Telecom Italia, authors of the report.

Smart grids also represent an opportunity for developing countries in the deployment of new electricity infrastructure by enabling more efficient operation and lower costs, allowing them to manage peak demand and to prevent electricity theft.

ITU–T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change) is encouraged to take the lead and work in cooperation with the major standardization bodies in the ICT and electrical fields to provide standardized directives on design and power-saving requirements for next-generation ICT devices and installations.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:13:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU together with the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ association (ETNO) has launched a new report giving Guidance on Green ICT Procurement.

The report was launched during the forum on Environmental Sustainability for the ICT Sector, which took place on 20 September 2012 in Paris (France) as part of the second ITU Green Standards Week.

This report aims at guiding ICT companies in adopting sustainable business practices.

Aimee Torres, ITU consultant, author of the report: “ICT companies have the power and legitimacy to innovate, transform and dematerialize the economy, but the increasing proliferation of information and communication technologies has raised concerns about the environmental consequences of these technologies… All kinds of business practices and procurement decisions should, and can, be made with a greener perspective.”

The report proposes a structured step-by-step procurement process, outlining green principles to be applied by the ICT industry when procuring goods, products and services, answering the questions: How to buy? What to buy? Whom to buy from?

To achieve effective procurement practices, the author reiterates the need to foster effective standardization in these processes.

A structured mapping and step-by-step application of standardized procurementprocesses analysis can enable ICT organizations to simplify their procedures, meet the goals of the organization and assess the environmental impact through the inclusion of energy, environment and carbon criteria in their purchasing activities.

This report shows ICT companies a way to incorporate green thinking considerations in every step of their procurement process.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:09:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Review of Mobile Handset Eco-Rating Schemes was another of a raft of reports launched at the second Green Standards Week in Paris this week. The publication outlines eco-ratings schemes developed by mobile telecommunication operators to measure the sustainability and environmental performance of their products to consumers.

Achieving environmental sustainability is one of the major challenges of our times. To support the behavioral change of consumers towards more sustainable purchasing, industries have developed schemes to provide information on a product’s relative sustainability, especially with regard to environmental aspects.

These eco-rating schemes generally cover three broad categories — the company, the supply chain and the device itself.

This report shows that there is no scheme that could be considered a perfect view of sustainability; however, each does attempt to provide a broad perspective of the sustainability impact of the manufacture, use and disposal of a mobile handset.

Based on this study, areas that eco-rating schemes should consider as best practice are identified. To drive further improvements, ITU-T Study Group 5 is encouraged to take the lead on integrating the best elements of each scheme into a single scheme to simplify the process for consumers, mobile operators and manufacturers.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:05:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU together with the United Nations University (UNU) has launched a report containing results of a Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives.

The report Greening ICT Supply Chains – Survey on Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Initiatives was launched during the forum on Greening ICT Supply Chain, which took place on 18 September 2012 in Paris, France as part of the second ITU GreenStandards Week.
 
International concern has been raised about the so-called Conflict Minerals issue,referring to minerals (namely tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses.

These minerals are key inputs for products of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. Their sourcing from the African Great Lakes Region - one of the largest sources of these minerals - is taking place in the heart of two of the most important ecosystems on the planet: the Congo Basin Ecosystem and the Albertine Rift. Unsustainable management of how minerals are accessed, extracted, processed and transported can irreversibly endanger the surrounding environment.

While the conflict and human rights aspect of ICT supply chains originating from the African Great Lakes Region garners much of the current international attention, the environmental aspect has been overlooked.

This survey details existing initiatives (national and international legislation, as well as industry-, government- and multi-stakeholder led activities) aimed at providing the ICT sector with guidance to conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure that their sourcing of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold does not contribute to conflict and human rights violations and does not harm the environment.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:01:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

External power supply standards to enable truckloads of efficiency gains Geneva

18 September 2012 - A new ITU-Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) report reveals that standards for the manufacture of external power supplies (EPS) could enhance their reliability and extend their lifecycle while decreasing their average weight by up to 30 per cent. This could eliminate 300,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, the report estimates. Putting this in context, this amount of waste, equivalent to sixty per cent of current annual EPS e-waste, would form a 300km truck-jam, every year.

Full press release

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Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:47:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 06, 2012

The high-level segment of ITU’s second Green Standards Week will take place on 19 September and will feature a host of ICT key players and ministers.

Among those speaking are Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International; H.E. Mr. Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba, Ministre des Postes, Télécommunications et Nouvelles Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, République Démocratique du Congo and H.E. Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, Ghana. The full list can be found here.

The High-Level Segment (HLS) will provide ministers and senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange views on the role of global standards in spreading access to green ICT, as well the development of new standards that reflect the interdependence of industry sectors.

Green Standards Week (GSW) will take place from 17 to 21 September in Paris France. GSW is a cluster of workshops, hosted by Microsoft and supported by Huawei, Orange, Fujitsu and Telefonica, which will focus on raising awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. Remote participation will be made possible with video, streamed audio and the ability to send questions via a moderator (instructions will be provided to those who opt for remote participation on the online registration form).

GSW will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It is open to participation by the press, and journalists wishing to attend should email Toby Johnson at toby.johnson@itu.int.


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Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:33:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paris meeting to accelerate work on ‘green ICT’ policies and standards
Geneva, 01 August 2012 – ITU’s second annual ‘Green Standards Week’ (GSW), to be held in Paris from 17-21 September, will stimulate the creation of international ‘green ICT’ standards with a view to further expanding the capabilities of information and communication technologies to boost environmental efficiency across all industry sectors.

Organized by ITU and TechAmerica Europe and hosted by Microsoft, it will gather policy makers, regulators, private sector entities, research institutes and standards development organizations (SDOs) to discuss the standardization of ICT from an environmental perspective. A High-Level Segment featuring key industry and government figures will discuss the role of global standards in spreading access to green ICT, as well the development of new standards that reflect the interdependence of industry sectors.

Read full press release

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:23:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Recent ITU meetings addressed the challenges facing African countries in the measurement of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) parameters for voice, 3G and Internet mobile networks – nearing completion of guidelines for a QoS regulatory framework for ICT services. The meetings also addressed environmental concerns associated with ICT development, such as the growing e-waste challenge, the measurement of human exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF EMF), and the need to develop a sustainable means of extending telecoms-network coverage to the rural areas of developing countries.

The four ITU events were held in Cotonou, Benin, 16-20 July, hosted by Benin’s Autorité Transitoire de Régulation des Postes et Télécommunications (ATRPT):

Workshop on practical measurement of QoS/QoE parameters for regulatory compliance; and Meeting of Africa Regional Group within ITU-T Study Group 12 (Performance, QoS and QoE)

The workshop was attended by over 80 participants from 21 African countries, gathering representatives of ministries, regulators, operators and vendors to discuss QoS/QoE aspects of Africa’s expanding mobile networks.

The Africa regional group within ITU-T Study Group 12 (SG 12) advanced its draft guidelines for a QoS regulatory framework for ICT services, which are intended to supplement existing ITU-T recommendations on QoS. Nearing this task’s completion, the group indicated that it will now direct its attention to ‘QoE web browsing’ under Question 13/12, and the ‘Roadmap for Interconnection of Packet-based Networks’ under Question 12/12.

Workshop on Tackling Climate Change and SAR Measurement; and Meeting of Africa Regional Group within ITU-T Study Group 5 (Environment and climate change)

The workshop was attended by over 70 participants from 21 African countries, discussing the application of ITU-T’s ‘green ICT’ standards and the measurement of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of RF EMF produced by mobile-telephony base stations and devices.

The Africa regional group within ITU-T Study Group 5 (SG 5) highlighted energy efficiency, e-waste reduction and issues related to climate change as its priorities for 2013. The meeting also reviewed its advanced-stage work on a number of guidelines under preparation:

  • Information guide on human exposure to RF EMF   
  • Methodology for the measurement of GSM Base Station compliance with RF EMF exposure limits
  • Technical requirements and management methodology of a fund to facilitate a sustainable e-waste management system in developing countries
  • A sustainable solution to extend the coverage of telecommunications networks to rural areas in developing countries

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012 1:48:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 26, 2012

The ITU, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) have published three new reports analyzing the potential use of submarine communications cables to monitor the environment and provide disaster warnings. The reports provide an examination of the project’s engineering and legal considerations, and offer a “strategy and roadmap” to move the agenda forward.

 

The reports are freely available on ITU’s website...

 

Equipping ‘repeaters’– instruments amplifying optical signals, placed an average of 100 km apart on a submarine communications cable – with climate-monitoring sensors could make the telecommunications network part of a real-time global ocean-observation network.

 

An Engineering Feasibility Study (Peter Phibbs and Stephen Lentz, Mallin Consultants Ltd.) investigates the technical feasibility of the project, outlining the requirements of a “green repeater” equipped with scientific sensors to provide decades-long time series of the rate and degree of climatic change. Concluding that it is possible to equip repeaters with a modest number of low-power scientific instruments, the report finds that the project’s principal engineering challenge remains the construction of green repeaters with a reliability and longevity equal to that of robust communications cables.

 

Opportunities and Legal Challenges (Kent Bressie, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.) analyzes the project’s legal considerations; noting that commercial telecommunications and scientific applications of submarine fibre-optic cables have traditionally operated independently of one another, and that the convergence of these applications presents a scenario not easily fitting within the jurisdictional categories established by international law.

 

Finally, a Strategy and Roadmap (Rhett Butler, University of Hawaii) takes into account the scientific, business, engineering and legal considerations of this ambitious project; offering a United Nations “strategy and roadmap” to advance the agenda led by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC.

 

The reports’ conclusions will provide fuel to discussions at an upcoming workshop on the subject, 20-21 September, hosted by ITU, WMO and UNESCO-IOC. The workshop is part of the second ITU Green Standards Week in Paris, 17-21 September, an event gathering players from all industry sectors to determine how ‘green ICT’ standards can effect economy-wide improvements in environmental sustainability.

 

More information on the 2nd ITU Green Standards Week

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:10:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Andreas Kamilaris, a PhD student at the University of Cyprus, has been awarded first prize in the second ITU Green ICT Application Challenge for his “Social Electricity” proposal. The Facebook application lends a competitive edge to smart-meter readings by enabling users to compare their energy consumption with that of friends and family, or with neighborhood, state and national averages.
 
Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), ITU, and Silvia Guzmán Araña, Telefónica’s Global Sustainablity and Reputation Director, will present Andreas first prize of USD 3,000 at an award ceremony to be held on the 19th of September in Paris, at the ITU Green Standards Week. Telefónica co-organized the competition together with ITU.
 
Kamilaris’ motivation for the application was to create a means of better quantifying the energy-consumption data produced by smart meters. The Challenge’s panel of judges – representing ITU, Telefónica, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Commission – deemed his socially-powered concept the best to satisfy the Challenge’s theme of“Sustainable Energy for All”. The development of the app is almost complete and, at Green Standards Week, Kamilaris will showcase its use and operation as well as any preliminary results garnered from the “Social Electricity” pilot soon to be launched across Cyprus. Electricity-related measurements will beprovided by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, which supports this project.
 
Honourable Mentions were awarded to another four promising apps, all similarly targeting ICT-enabled energy management.
 
New Delhi’s Gauri Dutt Sharma proposed an application termed a “Standby Monitor for Home Appliances”, a living-room monitor signaling which appliances are idle and which are consuming electricity by way of sensors attached to these appliances’ power cables.
 
Gopal Tiwari, from India’s Sagar Institute of Technology and Management, produced “Electrosoft” which details an electricity-supply scheduling system of use to both households and businesses. The app regulates the electricity supply to certain energy-intensive processes, scheduling energy-consuming operations in such a way that it minimizes the energy wasted as result of human error.
 
Andy Bäcker from Spain, CEO and founder of Sustainable Reference, proposed an app entitled “SURE!” which offers a point-scoring system whereby commercial activities, at all levels of the value chain, are awarded pointsbased on the degree of their operations’ environmental sustainability.
 
Dr. Tohru Asami of the University of Tokyo proposed “An Energy Proportional Power Supply Control for Rural ICT Systems” which presents a methodology to power rural ICT systems using the surplus power produced by photovoltaic (solar) power generation units designed to serve mobile-phone base stations.
 
More information on the 2nd ITU Green ICT Application Challenge is available here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:40:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eco-design to reduce e-waste and enabling policies highlighted
  
Geneva, 5 June 2012 – Participants at the 7th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change have issued a Declaration that encourages ICT manufacturers to make their products more easily upgradable without need for replacing the entire device. The call to promote a life cycle approach in the design of ICTs (eco-design) also means better taking into account how components in a device can be recycled. Reducing e-waste and providing incentives and encouragement for e-waste take back schemes were just some of the issues included in the Declaration issued at the end of the event on Friday, 31 May.

The Declaration adopted by the approximately 150 participants at the event also called for enabling policies to encourage investment in smart technologies and ICT based clean technologies (cleantech) as a way of promoting green growth and sustainable development. In addition the support of ITU methodologies to measure the impact of ICT and a recommendation to ramp up research and development on the use of ICTs for monitoring, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change are mentioned.

Full press release

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012 8:10:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

At its recent meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 11-19 April, ITU-T Study Group 5 – ITU’s Study Group on environment and climate change – consented two new ITU-T standards (Recommendations) targeting increased energy efficiency of ICT equipment.

The first Recommendation provides a specification of the direct current (DC) interface between power-feeding systems and connected ICT equipment, and the second defines energy efficiency metrics and measurement methods to assess the energy efficiency of telecommunication equipment.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1200 specifies a DC current interface able to operate using a power source of up to 400 Volts, which allows higher energy efficiency and reliability than can be achieved using lower-voltage power feeding solutions. The Recommendation standardizes a power feeding system applicable to all ICT equipment defined in a location using these power sources such as: telecommunication centres; radio base stations; data centres; and customer premises. Additionally, the DC interface will simplify the use of renewable energy sources producing DC output such as photovoltaic generators and fuel cell systems.

Recommendation ITU-T L.1310 defines energy efficiency metrics and measurement methods for telecommunication equipment including: wired as well as wireless broadband access; optical transport technologies; routers; switches; mobile core network equipment; and small networking equipment used in homes and small enterprises. L.1310 defines metrics which evaluate ICT equipment’s energy efficiency through a comparison between its technical performance and its energy consumption. The Recommendation also details measurement methodologies to verify energy efficiency figures produced in accordance with L.1300.

For more on the work of SG 5, please see the group’s webpage here.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 1:59:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 16, 2012

Geneva, 12 April 2012 – The seventh ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change aims to advance the ‘green ICT’ agenda by raising awareness of the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to aid in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Organized by ITU and the government of Canada, and hosted by Prompt, an R&D partnership developer, the symposium will explore the many ways in which advanced technologies can play a role in improving the environmental sustainability of the ICT sector itself, how ICTs can help countries better manage the effects of climate change, and new strategies to help tackle e-waste.

With ICTs now an intrinsic element of every economic sector, the need to integrate ICT-based solutions into the climate change actions of each industry has become essential. The symposium will explore ways of achieving this integration, and will help plot the course of ITU’s future work in the field – whether it be using radiocommunications to monitor and analyze shifting climate patterns, developing new technical standards detailing best-practice application of green ICTs. The event will also form part of ITU’s activities in the lead up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), highlighting the key role played by ICTs as enablers in environmentally-sustainable economic development.

Full press release


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Monday, April 16, 2012 9:12:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ITU will hold an Information and Training Session on ITU Methodologies for Assessing the Environmental Impact of ICT at ITU headquarters, Geneva, 12 April.

The event will provide a tutorial on the content and application of ITU-T's new L.1400 series of Recommendations which detail standardized methodologies to assess the life-cycle environmental impact of ICTs, both in terms of their own emissions and the emissions-savings created through ICT applications in other industry sectors.

ICTs can play a key role in improving the environmental sustainability of all industry sectors, particularly in those most harmful to the environment; such as energy generation, transportation, building construction and waste disposal.

The new standard methodologies will generate figures upon which businesses can model future revenues, costs and efficiency gains provided by green ICTs; and figures enabling governments and regulators to identify the gains in social and economic welfare that green ICTs can achieve.

The workshop, for which remote participation is available, will cover the first three* Recommendations of the L.1400 series:
Recommendation ITU-T L.1400: Overview and general principles of methodologies for assessing the environmental impact of ICT
Recommendation ITU-T L.1410: Methodology for the environmental impact of ICT goods, networks and services
- Recommendation ITU-T L.1420: Methodology for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions impact assessment of ICT in organizations

*final two parts of the L.1400 series, ICT in Cities and ICT in Countries or Groups of Countries, are under development by experts working on Question 18 in ITU-T Study Group 5


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:35:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 16, 2012

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITU and the four standardisation bodies of China, Japan and Korea (CJK) last year, see press release here Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, led a delegation from the ITU Secretariat to the eleventh CJK Meeting (CJK-11) 14-16 March at the Seagaia Convention Centre in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The Indian standards body GISFI also attended the meeting as an observer as it has requested to join the MoU.

The meeting addressed global ICT standardization questions of common interest to the region’s key standards bodies: ARIB, CCSA, TTA and TTC.

In his opening speech Johnson noted that CJK governments together account for 15 per cent of the total financial contributions received by ITU from Member States, and private entities from these nations account for 20 per cent of the contributions ITU-T receives from the private sector. Moreover, CJK makes a significant number contribution to ITU meetings: 38 percent more contributions in 2011 than in 2009.

Full speech can be seen here.

CJK meetings seek to maintain and improve the commitment to mutual understanding and cooperation, and recognise the imperative of coordinated international standards for the sound progression of each of the countries’ ICT industries.  The meeting identified the following topics as candidates for collaboration under the MoU: M2M and Dynamic Spectrum Access; Future IMT; smart grid; cloud computing and security; and the work on environment and climate change.

The Deputy Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Fabio Leite, also participated in the meeting stressing the importance of collaboration with ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), in particular on M2M access networks where there is a clear need for interoperability between radio-based systems.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 9:00:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Asier Arranz from Spain has been awarded $3000 and a Nokia Lumia mobile phone as first prize in the Green ICT Hackathon, an event organized by ITU and Telefónica and run in parallel to last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Arranz’ proposed ‘Bicing Gamification’ application aims to encourage users of Bicing, the community bicycle program in Barcelona, to deposit bicycles at underserved Bicing stations. Currently, bicycle-moving vans are necessary to maintain an optimal distribution of bicycles around the city. The application therefore makes use of a geo-location system to notify Bicing users of the stations in need of more bicycles. To encourage users to deposit their bicycles at these underserved stations, Arranz suggests micropayments be made those who do, possibly in the form of deductions to their annual Bicing subscription fees.

“The aim of the ‘Bicing Gamification’ application,” says Arranz, “is to reduce costs and CO2 emissions and ‘gamify’ (turn into a game) this green transport system to encourage its use and make cities more sustainable.”

Second prize, $2000 and Nokia Lumia, was awarded to Dirceu Dirs from Brazil for an application targeting drivers of electric vehicles and petroleum-fueled cars alike. The “Easy Refuel” application was developed on the Arduino electronics platform and points drivers towards the nearest, cheapest fuel stations when their vehicles require refueling or recharging. 

Third prize, a Nokia Lumia, went to Aaron Franco from the USA for his “Jatrobot” application which aims to harness social interaction to encourage a widespread production of biodiesel. The name stems from the “Jatropha Curcas” tree, the seeds of which can be pressed to yield an oil used to produce biodiesel. The Jatrobot app allows users to signal their approval of an environmentally-friendly product by way of a ‘like’ button, an action which triggers the planting of Jatropha tree seeds by a web-connected robot.

The aim of the Green ICT Hackathon was to encourage the development of applications promoting “Sustainable Energy for All”. Of further importance to ITU and Telefónica is the Hackathon’s contribution to the creation of a global network of ‘green’ ICT developers, one promoting the use of ICT to improve energy efficiency and technology transfer; two key goals to be addressed at Rio+20.

ITU and Telefónica thank their partners in this initiative; Nokia, SAP and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and WMO. ITU also wishes to thank Telefónica and, specifically, Telefónica’s Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and BlueVia Movistar Spain (Telefónica Digital).

In addition to the Hackathon, ITU and Telefonica are organizing the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative Concept Paper for an ICT application to help promote “Sustainable Energy for All”.  Send us your Concept Paper by 13 April 2012. More information about the Hackathon and Challenge can be found at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/201206/index.html or by contacting us at greenstandard@itu.int.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:40:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 02, 2012

ITU and Telefónica co-host 2012 app-development contests

Geneva, 1 February 2012 - ITU and Telefónica have announced two challenges to uncover innovative ICT approaches to support the 2012 UN-declared ‘International Year for Sustainable Energy for All’.

The Green ICT Hackathon will take place on 28-29 February during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, while the 2nd Green ICT Application Challenge is now open for the submission of Concept Papers until 13 April, 2012.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Sustainable energy for all is crucial to the future of modern civilization. ITU is committed to stimulating the creation of innovative ICT apps founded on new modes of thinking; ideas to effect the change needed to achieve a sustainable future.”

Alberto Andreu Pinillos, Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer at Telefónica: “The Green ICT Hackathon is part of the joint activities of Telefónica’s Global Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Office, Movistar Spain and Bluevia, Telefónica’s global developer platform. These initiatives have a double objective – first, to support developers with great ideas, and second, to foster green ICT applications for energy efficiency and sustainable development.”

Full press release

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Thursday, February 02, 2012 8:38:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 01, 2011
Technology offers practical means of cutting carbon emissions
Geneva, 25 November 2011 – ITU, together with a coalition of industry partners, will be working to convince delegates at the UN COP 17 climate change conference in Durban next week to harness the power of information and communication technology (ICT) to promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Today’s advanced technologies can transform social, industrial and business processes to effect the changes needed to achieve sustainability. But while the potential of ICTs to make a real difference is widely recognized by the technology community and government ICT ministries, it is still far from being understood and embraced by environmental lobby groups and policymakers.

Full press release

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Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:08:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ITU, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)/ Secretariat of the Basel Convention and the United Nations University (UNU), in collaboration with the Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative and the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), have launched a joint survey on e-waste.

This survey aims to collect detailed data on e-waste management, policies and standards; constructing a comprehensive overview of the current e-waste landscape and identifying future challenges in this realm. Such a mapping of the e-waste issue will establish a base upon which the exchange of e-waste information and best practices can occur, and will form a valuable tool in communicating the gravity of the problem and promoting collaborative work in the future development of policy and management of e-waste.
The widespread use of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has raised public awareness of its positive effects such as the reduction of the digital divide, but also of the negative environmental and health effects associated with the inefficient waste management of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste).

There have been alarming reports of e-waste mismanagement in many countries, particularly in less developed nations and countries with economies in transition. E-waste is a significant contributor to the ICT industry’s impact on the environment, and urgent global action to address this issue is essential if the industry is to fulfill its commitment to a sustainable future.

For further information, please see the survey’s webpage: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/e-waste/index.html
 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:54:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Ninth Meeting of Joint Coordination Activity on ICT & Climate Change  (JCA-ICT&CC), 23 November 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

On-line Registration

 

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011 10:35:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2011

ITU has underlined its key role in green ICT with a raft of announcements today by Study Group 5 of its Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T).

A meeting of the group in Seoul, Korea has seen agreement on a globally-recognized set of methodologies to assess the environmental impact of information and communications technology (ICT). It also saw agreement to produce a report on due diligence guidelines for conflict minerals supply, and to study environmental protection and recycling solutions for batteries for mobile phones and other ICT devices.

Estimates of how much ICTs can reduce global emissions – and estimates of the emissions generated by the ICT sector itself – still vary widely, due to the application of different measurement methodologies. After the problem was raised by delegates to ITU’s ‘ICTs and Climate Change’ symposium in 2008, ITU took on the challenge and has pioneered adoption of a new globally-agreed set of standards.

To ensure consistency between different approaches, the new methodology has been developed in cooperation with other standardization organizations such as ISO, IEC, ETSI and ATIS. The new methodology is also aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission. 

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General, ITU: “This methodology has been developed by ITU's industry members. This will be important in ensuring it gains wide acceptance by the world's ICT industry. An internationally agreed methodology means estimates of the impact of ICTs on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption will now have much greater credibility. It will also show just how significant a contribution ICTs can make by reducing global emissions in other sectors.”

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission: “I'm pleased that the industry is taking the task of measuring its own footprint so seriously. And I'm pleased that the ITU, as a UN agency, is doing such good work facilitating negotiations, reaching out globally to industry sub-sectors and to other standardization initiatives.”

New guidelines on conflict minerals

New ITU work on ‘conflict minerals’ will also begin in response to a request from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ITU will make a survey of existing due diligence requirements and guidelines concerning sources of conflict minerals (in particular, those that are smelted into tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold), as well as their use in conformity with recognized international treaties and national legislation, where this exists.

Rare earth minerals are used in consumer electronics products such as mobile phones, DVD players, video games and computers. The report will provide guidance to ICT entities seeking to exercise due diligence on, and formalize the origin and chain of custody of, conflict minerals used in their products and on their suppliers to ensure that conflict minerals used in their products do not directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or result in labour or human rights violations. Agreement to address this issue demonstrates the ICT industry’s commitment to sustainability at all levels of the value chain.

Following on from the success of ITU’s Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000), the meeting also agreed to study the benefits and disadvantages of the standardization of batteries for mobile terminals and other ICT devices, looking at energy efficiency over the battery life cycle, eco-design information, battery lifetime and exchangeability, safety and environmental protection, recycling and reuse. This could lead to a reduction of harmful materials used in batteries and an increased lifespan of ICT products. Battery manufacturers, device manufacturers, operators and users will all benefit, say experts. 

Ahmed Zeddam, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 5: “This has been the most productive and significant meeting in the long history of Study Group 5. Twelve new important standards have been agreed, including many critical to methodologies to assess the environmental impact of ICT and the protection of home networks and next generation network (NGN) equipment from electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental effects. The meeting also saw revisions to a key set of standards on resistibility to overvoltages or overcurrents of telecoms equipment. ITU is the only organization producing these important global standards.”

For more information, please contact:

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
E-mail: toby.johnson@itu.int
Tel: +41 22 730 5877;
mobile: +41 79 249 4868

Sarah Parkes

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information,
E-mail: sarah.parkes@itu.int
Tel: +41 22 730 6135;
mobile: +41 79 599 1439

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 1:21:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 12, 2011

The first ITU Green Standards Week closed Friday with a call on international bodies, NGOs, standards bodies, governments, regulators, industry and academia to collaborate more closely on the application and development of information and communication technologies (ICT) standards to help combat climate change. Particular emphasis was placed on a globalized methodology to assess the environmental impact of ICTs, reducing e-waste, and the use of submarine cables for climate monitoring and disaster warning.

ITU has been working with industry and government members aiming to achieve agreement on an internationally recognized set of methodologies to be approved by the end of the year. Included is a methodology which ICT companies can use to measure their own carbon footprint, as well as a way to estimate the considerable savings in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy that can be achieved in other sectors through the use of ICTs.

Full press release

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Monday, September 12, 2011 10:27:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 01, 2011

The application “Smart Recycling” has been awarded the winner of the first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge. The global competition was organized by ITU and supported by Telefónica and Research In Motion to identify innovative applications that can help improve energy efficiency and combat climate change. Designed by Lis Lugo Colls, from Spain, the application aims to help mobile users locate recycling and garbage bins within their area, and provide advice generally on recycling. The application will benefit citizens, government recycling programs and private recycling companies by creating a more sustainable and resource-efficient future through community engagement and eco-design.

Four special mentions were made by the jury to the applications “Make Me Green – Delivering Context-Specific Suggestions for a Green Lifestyle”, by Stephen Reiter and Simone Ferlin (Germany), “Effi-e Play Green”, presented by Maria Dolores Rodriguez De Azero (Spain), “Mobile App to Use a Vehicle to its Fullest Capacity”, by Praneel Raja (India) and “A Community-Based System for Biodiversity Degradation”, by Euphraith Muthoni Masinde (Kenya).

These applications touch upon related issues such as raising awareness of the impact that lifestyles have on the environment, monitoring energy and water consumption in hotels, promoting car sharing and sharing traditional and indigenous knowledge on biodiversity and conservation.

The winner of the competition - Lis Lugo Colls - will present their application during the upcoming ITU Green Standards Week, to be held in Rome (Italy) from 5 to 9 September 2011. As winner Lis Colls will receive a cash prize of USD 10,000 to further develop the application.

ITU would like to thank all developers for their interest and participation in this first App challenge. Overall 54 applications were received covering topics such as monitoring climate change, measurement of GHG emissions, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and community engagement.

Click here for further information on the competition. More information on ITU’s activities on climate change is available at www.itu.int/climate

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Thursday, September 01, 2011 2:53:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ITU is organizing the first Green Standards Week from 5 to 9 September in Rome, Italy. The cluster of workshops, hosted by Telecom Italia and supported by Huawei, RIM, Alcatel Lucent and Microsoft, will focus on raising awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. Full remote participation will be made possible with video, streamed audio and the ability to send questions via a moderator.

A High-Level Segment (HLS) will provide Ministers and senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help in the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to Durban (COP-17) and in preparation for the Earth Summit Rio +20 to be held in 2012. The HLS will aim to set transparent policy objectives and targets to measure and improve government green ICT strategies and standards, including ICT-enabled applications across the economy.

During the event the winner of the Green ICT Applications Challenge will be announced and be given the opportunity to present their concept for an app to combat climate change.

The first workshop will focus on methodologies for environmental impact assessment of ICT and will examine work underway to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change and how to standardize the way to calculate the reduction of GHG that ICTs have. This workshop will be jointly organized with the European Commission.

A second workshop will look at moving to a green economy through ICT standards will explore how ICTs can help to address climate change and build a green economy, shedding light on standards, policies and best practices. This workshop will be jointly organized with Telecom Italia.

The last day will see a workshop on using submarine communications networks to monitor the climate and will aim to encourage the development of new technologies and standards and will explore business opportunities for telecommunication companies to become active players in monitoring climate change. This workshop will be jointly organized by ITU, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Green Standards Week will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners,
government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It is open to participation by the press.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:18:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ITU’s message to global climate change conference

Geneva, 13 July, 2011 - Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-17) in Durban, South Africa, attendees at the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Ghana have renewed calls for global leaders to recognize the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

An outcome document asks that ITU, as the UN specialized agency for ICTs, lead a coalition urging COP-17 delegates to look to the enormous potential of ICT solutions to cut emissions across all sectors. The document calls for the adoption of a ‘closed loop’ approach to manufacturing and recycling which will reduce the need to extract and process raw materials. It also asks for recognition of the value of ICTs in monitoring deforestation, crop patterns and other environmental phenomena.

Full press release

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 1:49:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 23, 2011
Green application developers were inspired to contribute to ITU’s Green ICT Application Challenge following a visit to the Guardian’s Activate event last week.

Participants in a 'Hacktivate' session were asked to develop and showcase apps that aim to improve lives through intelligent use of data and technology.

ITU and challenge sponsor Telefonica were given the opportunity to promote their Green ICT Application Challenge at the event inspiring some of the developers to incorporate green thinking into their apps.

High-speed internet connection, free APIs, expert advice, drinks and snacks were the ingredients used by more than 50 developers to put together apps including an app to help find your vegetable peelings a home; apps to give environmental credentials on products you might be interested in purchasing; an app to help you recycle unwanted items around your home and a climate quiz. More details can be found here.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:17:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 30, 2011
ITU and TechAmerica are organizing the side event “Linking Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) with the Cancun Agreements”. The event will take place on 7 June 2011 from 18.15 to 19.45, in Bonn (Germany) during the June UN climate change talks.

Among topics for discussion will be how ICTs can help adapt and mitigate climate change and what existing ICTs are affordable for developing countries. The event will also provide an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help to implement the Cancun Agreements and will look at the new technologies to  promote green ICTs and innovation.

More information available here.

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Monday, May 30, 2011 3:52:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Geneva, 9 May 2011 – ITU’s one-size fits all universal charging solution has been further improved to maximize the benefits for end users by extending its use to a wider variety of devices and making it even more energy efficient.

A detachable cable with standardized end connectors will allow connection to devices including all mobile phones and other hand-held devices (including MP3/MP4 players, tablet computers, cameras, wireless headphones, GPS devices etc). This also means that it can be used for data transfer, avoiding an unnecessary duplicate cable and thus further reducing costs and e-waste.

Full press release

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 8:28:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 06, 2011
ITU’s Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change will take place 7-8 July in Ghana. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Communications (MOC) of Ghana.

The main purpose of the event is to move forward the agenda on using ICTs to monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects and, identify future requirements for ITU’s related work.

The symposium will also focus on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa and the needs of developing countries. Topics to be discussed will include mitigation and adaptation to climate change, e-waste, disaster planning, cost-effective ICT technologies, methodologies for the environmental impact assessment of ICTs, challenges and opportunities in the transition to a green and resource efficient economy.

The symposium will identify possible goals, commitments and modalities for the ICT sector to be developed in the process leading to the forthcoming 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17-CMP7), to be held in Durban, South Africa in November 2011. The event will also develop a set of recommendations for action in relation to ICTs, the environment and climate change towards a green economy, as a contribution to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 or Rio+20).

The event follows successful symposia between 2008 and 2010 in Kyoto, London, Quito, Seoul and Cairo. It will be preceded by a Training Seminar on Conformity and Interoperability for Africa that will be held from 4 to 6 July. It will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

For more information on the symposium see here.

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Friday, May 06, 2011 3:46:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2011
Joint Coordination Activity on ICT and climate change (JCA-ICT&CC), (Geneva, 6 May 2011)

Online registration

Joint Coordination Activity on ICT and climate change

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Monday, April 18, 2011 1:06:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Geneva, 12 April, 2011 – ITU has launched a Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative idea for a climate change focused app. The winning concept will be awarded USD10,000, thanks to challenge sponsors Research in Motion (RIM) and Telefónica.

As well as the cash prize, the winner will be invited to present their concept to a prestigious audience at ITU’s Green Standards Week in Italy in September. In addition, the winning app may be developed and showcased during a side event to be held at the COP-17 climate change talks in South Africa in December.

Full press release

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011 1:01:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 07, 2010
The latest meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 5 in Geneva 23 November-1 December saw the beginning of work on two new “Questions” or work units - Setting up a low cost sustainable telecommunication infrastructure for rural communications in developing countries and Using ICTs to enable countries to adapt to climate change.

In addition and following the success of the Universal Charging Solution (Recommendation ITU-T L.1000), the meeting saw discussion on a Universal Battery solution.

Battery manufacturers, device manufacturers, operators and users will benefit, say experts but  the task will be infinitely more complicated. At this – early – stage discussions focus on feasibility; scope; questions on e-waste; safety; and innovation freedom concerns.

A revision to the Universal Charging Solution (L.1000) was also discussed. Changes under debate include a minimum current value (850mA); detachable cable (USB A to micro-USB); electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements and no load power consumption (0.15W mandatory, 0.03W optional). It is hoped that this will be consented at the next meeting SG  in April.

As well as progressing technical work the meeting saw presentations including a special guest Yuzhu You, University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Australia who talked about monitoring climate change using submarine cables – the subject of a new Technology Watch report. In a special session presentations were also made on how to make Data Centers green; recycling rare metals from ICT waste; urban mining; and the universal power adapter for ICT devices: phases 1 and 2.

The meeting saw record attendance and ran for seven instead of the normal five days. Two new standards were consented in the field of protection against electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic emanations. The first gives guidance on the long term monitoring of EMF and the second describes a test method and guide against information leaks through unintentional electromagnetic emissions.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010 9:27:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 28, 2010
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report highlights how submarine cables can be used as a real-time global network to monitor climate change and to provide tsunami warnings.

Future generations of cables and associated components could have the capacity to directly measure climate variables, such as water temperature, salinity and pressure on the ocean floor. All this could be achieved over long periods of time at low cost.

Despite a wide range of tools to monitor oceans, oceanographers cannot measure water variables at the sea floor. Using Submarine Communications Networks to Monitor the Climate highlights how new and old submarine telecommunication cables could fill this gap.

The report, by Yuzhu You of the Institute of Marine Science, University of Sydney, Australia invites ITU experts to study the topic further, particularly with a view to identifying areas for standardization.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010 4:18:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Malcolm Johnson, has be-come a regular contributor to the Guardian’s Low carbon ICT blog.

Two articles to date:

Time to recognise the power of ICT for environmental change

We need a level playing field to measure carbon emissions from ICT

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Sunday, November 28, 2010 4:10:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 24, 2010
ITU-T’s Study Group 5 on environment and climate change meets this week in Geneva and has seen record levels of attendance and contributions; including 11 new countries participating for the first time.
 
The group, which recently adopted the universal mobile phone charger, is working on – among other things – a set of methodologies for ICT companies to measure their carbon footprint, and to estimate the considerable saving in global green house gas emissions that can be achieved through the use of ICTs.
 
Also on the table at that this meeting are several proposals relating to electromagnetic fields (EMF) issues. EMF was the subject of a new Resolution at the recent Plenipotentiary Conference tasking ITU to increased its work in the area. This meeting will see a new ITU-T Recommendation on “Monitoring of the EMF level”  put forward for consent (first stage approval). The proposed standard will give guidance for monitoring of EMF and provide the general public with clear and easily available data concerning EMF levels.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010 10:18:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 11, 2010
A new ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of the innovative role that information and communication technologies (ICT) play in smart water management. The report also surveys current and forthcoming standardisation work in the field of smart water management.

Economic growth, seasonal climatic conditions and rising population are all affecting availability of water resources. Moreover, a number of effects linked to climate change, such as lengthy droughts and extreme weather events, are worsening the situation. Water shortages are at the core of many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of which is to reduce by half the number of people without safe access to water by 2015. According to the UN World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.

Technologies such as semantic sensor web, remote sensing with satellite and geographical information systems can be used innovatively by water authorities to obtain information in real time about water use, to track and forecast the level of rivers and to identify new sources of fresh water. With the impact of climate change, sole reliance on historical hydrologic weather patterns is no longer a viable forecast for water authorities. The availability of information about current conditions in a particular situation on a timely basis is crucial for decision making in water resource management. For instance, flood water management is a dynamic process, changing daily, weekly or monthly, depending on weather conditions and how ecosystems respond to climate variability.
 
ICT provides a unique opportunity for water stakeholders to obtain information in near real time about a number of physical and environmental variables such as temperature, soil moisture levels, rainfall, and others through web enabled sensors and communication networks, and can thus have accurate information about the situation at hand (without physically being there) for their forecasts and decisions. Smart metering technologies can also provide individuals, businesses and water companies with near real-time information about their own water use, thus raising awareness about usage, locating leakages and having better control over water demand.

The Report can be downloaded from a dedicated website which provides additional sources of information and an overview of ITU-T Study Groups with standardisation work related to water.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:30:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 18, 2010

ITU will hold the Fifth Symposium on ICTs and the Environment & Climate Change in Cairo, Egypt on 2-3 November 2010. The Symposium will be hosted by the Ministry of communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Egypt, and the Ministry of state for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) Egypt.

The event is particularly timely, as it will take place less than a month before the opening of the 16th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 16) which will take place in November 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. COP 16 will focus on adopting an achievable balanced outcome on climate change.

The Fifth Symposium on ICTs and the Environment & Climate Change will focus on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa and the needs of developing countries. Topics to be discussed will include adaptation to climate change, e-waste, cost-effective ICT technologies, methodology of environmental impact assessment of ICT and financing of climate change solutions. It will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. The main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of using ICTs to monitor climate change, to mitigate and address its effects. The conclusions of this event will contribute towards ITU’s future work in this area.

A draft programme is available at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/201011/programme.html

Online registration is available at: http://www.itu.int/cgi-bin/htsh/edrs/ITU-T/workshop/edrs.registration.form?_eventid=3000188

More about the Symposium can be found at: www.itu.int/ITU-T/go/egypt

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Monday, October 18, 2010 10:27:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 14, 2010
ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) are organizing an event - Green ICT for a sustainable future - which will take place on 24 September 2010 from 15.00 to 17.30 hours in New York, USA, during Climate Week NYC.

The transition to a ‘green’ economy poses many challenges, but also opens significant opportunities for economic development in developed and developing countries. Through innovation in low-carbon technologies, countries can capture economic value ‘at home’ through entrepreneurship, job creation and new venture development.

This workshop will present a series of case studies (Home energy monitoring kit; HVAC automation system; Eco-driving software solution; Telecommuting; E-health delivery system; Telepresence system) and will also discuss:

  • How “green ICT” initiatives and applications, such as smart grids, cloud computing, videoconferencing, e-government and dematerialization of content, can play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions, and ensuring sustainable development and green growth;

  • How to measure the impact of "green ICT" on climate change and how to standardize a methodology to calculate the impact of ICTs on GHG emissions;

  • How a standardized methodology, and other initiatives, might assist countries to obtain and make best use of ICTs to address climate change;

  • How the ICT industry can promote awareness and implementation of "green ICT".

More info at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/201009/index.html

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:18:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 01, 2010
The next Meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will be held on 16 September from 16.30 to 18.30 hours, in Vilnius, Lithuania during the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).  

ITU launched the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) in 2007 as an open body committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet, to seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and to enabling transformation in line with the objectives set and to be set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Additional information on DCICC can be found at:
http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/dc/index.html
And the IGF:
http://www.igf2010.lt/index.php/en/welcome/index

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:27:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU is organizing its Fifth Symposium on ICTs, The Environment and Climate Change, in cooperation with and under the auspices of Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA), Egypt.

The Symposium will be held 2-3 November 2010 at the Smart Village Convention Center in Cairo, Egypt. It will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

Participants will focus on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa and the needs of developing countries.

The main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance and opportunities for using ICTs to monitor climate change, to mitigate and adapt to its effects and, in this light, to identify future requirements for ITU’s related work.

Topics to be discussed will include adaptation to climate change, e-waste, cost-effective ICT technologies, methodology of environmental impact assessment of ICT and financing of climate change solutions.

An output of the Symposium is expected to be the “Cairo Road Map”, a set of recommendations for action in relation to ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change.

This event is particularly timely, as it will take place less than a month before the opening of the 16th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 16), which will take place in November 2010 in Cancun, Mexico and will aim at producing a new global agreement on climate change.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/201011/index.html

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:25:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Technology will bring much needed efficiency and flexibility to electricity distribution

Geneva, 12 May 2010 - Some of the world’s biggest ICT companies have tasked a new ITU group with identifying standards needs for the world’s new Smart Grid deployments, which will bring the benefits of digital technology to the existing electricity network.

ITU was asked by key CTOs to accelerate work in the area of Smart Grid at a meeting of high level industry executives in Geneva in October 2009. Agreement between a wider set of ITU members to push forward work in this area was reached at a January 2010 meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG).

“While work has been taking place in ITU-T Study Groups on this topic for some time, there was a need to engage with a wider community,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. "In this case, the Focus Group allows access to all stakeholders and in particular a key part of the Smart Grid equation — the electricity companies themselves.”

Les Brown (Lantiq), who will Chair the new Focus Group, agreed. "Through this excellent initiative ITU is bringing all players together in an environment where they can create truly global specifications for the service-aware utilities network of tomorrow. Smart Grid is a dynamic addition to today’s energy networks, which will be capable of delivering customizable services on a massive scale; to ensure an efficient global rollout, global standards are a must.”

The Smart Grid will consist of solutions based on both current and future telecommunication technologies for command and control, metering, and charging. ITU’s new Focus Group will explore these requirements and corresponding standards needs. Further, the idea that Smart Grid principles could apply to the telecommunication system itself could be a topic for discussion.

According to a study by ABI Research, the number of smart electric meters deployed worldwide will rise from a 2009 level of 76 million to reach about 212 million in 2014.

Many governments have earmarked significant portions of their stimulus packages for Smart Grids. In the United States, for example, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act has allocated USD 4.5 billion for investments in the Smart Grid. In Europe, the European Parliament has approved an agreement reached by the EU Institutions on a package of legislation to liberalize energy markets, including electricity and gas directives, which require EU member states to ‘ensure the implementation of intelligent metering systems’.

The Focus Group on Smart Grid will survey existing national standards initiatives to see whether these can be adopted at an international level, and will also perform a gap analysis to identify new standardization requirements that will then be taken forward by relevant ITU-T Study Groups. This exploratory phase will be relatively short before work starts on the development of the standards necessary to support the global rollout of Smart Grid technologies.

In the field of Smart Grids, ITU experts have already agreed on specifications for Smart Grid products for home networks. The specifications include a ‘low complexity’ profile that will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for Smart Grid and other lower bit rate applications.

Members of HomeGrid Forum, an independent body set up to promote ITU-T’s home networking standard, G.hn, are active participants in Smart Grid standardization efforts worldwide, including those led by NIST, IEEE, ISO/IEC, and SAE. In 2009, HomeGrid Forum formed a Smart Grid initiative group, which will help to bring a range of G.hn-based devices to the Smart Grid market and home energy management applications.

George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States: “We recognize the importance of international standards to the success of the smart grid — therefore we look forward to coordinating with this Focus Group on defining the scope of ITU-T work related to the smart grid.”

For further information please contact:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: mailto: pressinfo@itu.int                                                                              

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: mailto: toby.johnson@itu.int

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010 3:18:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ICTs and the green city of the future is the title of an ITU Workshop that will be held during the Shanghai World Expo 2010. The theme of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 is: "Better City, Better Life". The Workshop will aim at capturing visions of ICT’s role in providing for urban sustainability.

A call for abstracts has been issued and invites submissions until 15 March 2010. A prize fund totaling $10,000 will be awarded to the three best papers.

The Workshop will take place in the UN Pavilion dedicated to "One Earth, One UN" at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 on 14 May 2010.

ICTs and the green city of the future is an event organized within the framework of ITU Kaleidoscope activities, open to members and non members of ITU, general visitors of the Expo, students, experts and high level industry officials.

This workshop aims at increasing the dialogue between academia and experts working on the standardization of ICTs.

Submissions are encouraged by all, but especially young people, students, researchers and professors from universities and research institutions. They can cover any topic along these broad guidelines but should reflect the sessions listed in the call for abstracts.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:45:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 07, 2009
ITU’s delegation to the UNFCCC Barcelona Climate Change talks has succeeded in raising awareness of ICTs as a key part of the climate change solution. In particular developing countries were receptive to the message and recognize the power of ICTs, also linking the issue to the digital divide.

At a side event jointly organized by ITU, OECD and GeSI equitable access and ensuring connectivity to schools, rural communities and health facilities were recognized as vital to economic development and to making effective use of ICTs to combat climate change.

Speaking at the event, Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization bureau said: “It is generally accepted that by 2050 global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by some 80%. We can no longer talk in terms of incremental reductions of 5-10%. There is also a growing understanding that there is only one way that this can be achieved: by shifting from a high carbon physical infrastructure to a low carbon virtual infrastructure based on the evolving information society and smart technology – what we call information and communication technologies (ICTs).“

ITU will produce a communiqué that will be distributed to ITU Member States as well as parties involved in the negotiating process. One of the problems identified in the side event was that while communications ministries are aware of the link between ICTs and climate change this message is often not filtering through to environment ministries.

The following issues arose at the side event
  • The capabilities of ICTs to monitor, measure and exchange huge amounts of information and their sheer ubiquity underlines their fundamental role in improving environmental performance.

  • The  message that ICTs are a major part of the solution rather than being part of the problem has to  be emphasised further. “Smart” applications in transport, buildings and urban environments, energy generation and distribution and production are, and will increasingly be, ICT-enabled.

  • In the utility sectors ICTs can provide better information, increase efficiency, and thereby reduce emissions.

  • There needs to be a coming together of the ICT Sector with the other industry sectors that have traditionally been separate communities, in order to ensure the best use of ICTs. 

  • Developing countries should participate more in international programmes that support the development and use of common performance standards, testing, verification and certification programmes.

  • IPR policies related to global standards need to be addressed.

  • Dumping is a major concern for developing countries. Greater emphasis is needed on recycling, reduction of hazardous substances in ICTs, and refurbishment.

  • Life cycle methodologies for the ICT sector within the UNFCCC will be essential if ICTs are to play a significant role in climate change.

  • ICTs can only assist in mitigating and adapting to climate change if they are widely available. There is a clear link between bridging the digital divide and climate change. There should be incentives within the UNFCCC to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, in particular bringing the benefits of broadband technology to schools, hospitals, and businesses. 

  • Including reference to the ICT/Telecommunication sector in the sectoral part of the negotiating text would enable a life cycle methodology to be included in the Clean Development Mechanism. This would provide an incentive to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, help reduce the digital divide, and at the same time help fight climate change – a win-win scenario.

For video archive of ITU media briefing in Barcelona: http://tr.im/Ek5t.
See also TelecomTV coverage including: http://tr.im/Elxb
And Computer Weekly: http://tr.im/Ek4H

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Saturday, November 07, 2009 10:09:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 29, 2009
ITU is to host a workshop - Greening the Internet - 17 November 2009 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, as part of 4th IGF (Internet Governance Forum) meeting.

A key component of the economic stimulus agenda in US, Japan, Europe and other regions, is investment in broadband, so Greening the Internet and addressing climate change is a major concern. Internet based-applications can unleash many opportunities for real solutions to climate change, such as smart homes, smart appliances, smart transportation and smart energy grids. Many companies today are already recognizing that going Green makes good business sense.

The ICT industry has been making progress in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and best practices can be already shared. Even new technologies such as NGN, are innately green compared to their predecessors.

ITU-T’s Study Group on Environment and Climate Change examines how to measure and reduce the impact of ICTs on the environment in order to help advance the Green ICT agenda. At its last meeting, the Study Group consented a standard describing an energy-efficient universal charging solution (UCS) for mobile phones, but also digital cameras and other devices with micro-USB interfaces.
 
Greening the Internet, will examine new Internet trends, the potential impacts on climate change and the ways in which the Internet can evolve in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Panelists are Joseph Alhadeff, VP for Global Public Policy at Oracle Corporation; Catherine Trautmann, Member of the European Parliament; Catalina McGregor, Founder and Deputy Champion of the Green ICT CIO/CTO Council of the UK Government; George Sadowsky, Director of ICANN, Alice Munyua of the Kenya ICT Action Network; Tony Vetter of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nezar Sami of Nile University.

The workshop will be opened with a keynote message given by Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, and moderated by Arthur Levin, Head of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Policy Division.

Speakers’ biographies and information on logistics and registration are posted on the website of the workshop.

A meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will take place one day earlier, on 16 November 2009. The DCICC is an open body of 29 members committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet, seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and enabling transformation in line with the objectives set and to be set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Meeting and Coalition are open to governments, private sector, standards development organizations, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, researchers, vendors, network operators, academia and other bodies. A draft agenda is available on the DCICC website.


17 November 2009: Greening the Internet: Workshop website

16 November 2009: Meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change: Website

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Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:44:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 22, 2009
One-size-fits-all solution will dramatically cut waste and GHG emissions. "ICTs are an essential element of an effective Copenhagen climate agreement," says Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré

Geneva, 22 October 2009 — ITU has given its stamp of approval to an energy-efficient one-charger-fits-all new mobile phone solution. The announcement comes as ITU lobbies hard to have the essential role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) recognized in the draft Copenhagen Agreement as a key part of the solution towards mitigating climate change.

full press release

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Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:27:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 09, 2009
High-level meeting underlines importance of unified international approach to technology development

Geneva, 8 October 2009 — Nineteen CTOs from some of the world’s key ICT players have called upon ITU to provide a lead in an overhaul of the global ICT standardization landscape.

The call came at a meeting held at ITU headquarters in Geneva on 6 October between ITU senior management and the world’s technology leaders. The meeting will become a regular feature on the ITU calendar.

The CTOs agreed on a set of recommendations and actions that will better address the evolving needs of a fast-moving industry; facilitate the launch of new products, services and applications; promote cost-effective solutions; combat climate change; and address the needs of developing countries regarding greater inclusion in standards development.

Participants reaffirmed the increasing importance of standards in the rapidly changing information society. Standards are the ‘universal language’ that drives competitiveness by helping organizations optimize their efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and innovation, the CTOs agreed.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU, said: "Standards are a proven and key driver in the successful growth and deployment of new ICT products, services, and applications. And while there are many examples of successful standards collaboration, a fragile economic environment and an ICT ecosystem characterized by convergence makes it all the more important to streamline and clarify the standardization landscape. We have agreed on a number of concrete actions that will help us move towards this goal and strengthen understanding of standards’ critical role in combating climate change, while better reflecting the needs of developing countries."

The meeting reinforced the importance of standards in assuring interoperability. As operators embrace IP, the networks and services of the next 20-30 years are being developed that will help people make contact anywhere and anyhow. The emergence of technologies such as globally standardized IMS will bring customers richer services. Only agreed global standards can deliver on the promise of disseminating those services on mobiles, PCs, wirelines and home devices, CTOs agreed. At the same time, they acknowledged that new players and business models will emerge, and that the continued convergence of telecoms and IT is likely to provoke some tensions across different paradigms and cultures. CTOs pledged to cooperate to bridge the developed and developing worlds, bringing IP benefits to all while also ensuring network security and reliability.

The standardization landscape has become complicated and fragmented, with hundreds of different industry forums and consortia. CTOs agreed that it has become increasingly tough to prioritize standardization resources, and called on ITU – as the preeminent global standards body - to lead a review to clarify the standardization scenario. This will allow ICT companies to make more efficient use of resources and ensure that standards are developed in the most appropriate bodies, benefitting both industry and users.

ITU will host a web portal providing information on the interrelationship of standards and standards bodies, which would facilitate the work of industry and standards makers while promoting cooperation and collaboration and avoiding duplication.

The meeting also recognized that standards can play a critical role in ‘greening’ the ICT industry and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in other sectors, and supported ITU’s efforts to have this role recognized in the new Copenhagen Agreement on Climate Change.

An official communiqué from the event can be found here.

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Friday, October 09, 2009 3:14:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 28, 2009
Announcement made at pioneering virtual symposium

Geneva, 28 September 2009 — ITU has declared its intention to press for the importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a cross-sectoral tool to combat climate change to be recognized in the upcoming Copenhagen Agreement.

full press release

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Monday, September 28, 2009 2:51:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 17, 2009
Attendees of the world’s first Virtual Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change are being asked to send questions to speakers via Twitter or e-mail ITU-CC@tta.or.kr. Virtual coffee breaks will also give attendees a chance to discuss among themselves - via Twitter - the topics covered in the sessions. Speakers from the event will also join in this discussion, with key experts on hand to answer questions and join the conversation.

Questions or comments should be sent using the hashtag #VCCKR. You can follow ITU on Twitter here.

The event will feature keynote speeches from Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, Secretary-General of ITU speaking from New York and H. E. Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Information and Communications, Viet Nam.

Sessions will see individual presentations from speakers in the UK, US, China, India, Switzerland, Viet Nam and Korea followed by a virtual roundtable discussion.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:21:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 31, 2009

ITU together with the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is co-organizing the first ever Virtual International Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change. The event, also supported by Korea’s Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA), will feature speakers participating virtually from locations around the world.

The symposium will bring together key specialists in the field from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, government officials and regulators.

Topics to be discussed will include green ICTs to tackle climate change, clean technologies and smart applications, reducing the environmental impact of ICTs and building a green future.

The Virtual International Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change will launch a new era in conducting events, offering all the benefits of physical participation but without the environmental costs. The event’s virtual nature will allow more participation from developing and least developed countries, providing a deeper knowledge of their needs and creating a sound basis for solutions that take into account all stakeholders.

This event is open to anyone and can be watched without prior registration. If you want to actively participate, comment or ask questions you must register here. Please choose "Participants" as your function.

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Monday, August 31, 2009 10:52:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 9:20:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 11, 2009
Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization bureau - is interviewed here on ITU’s recent work on ICTs climate change.

The video is in support of the Light Reading Green Telecom East: Transitioning to Environmentally Responsible Networks event, taking place Wednesday, June 17, at The Westin Times Square in New York City. ITU is an official association sponsor of the conference.

Light Reading has kindly offered an unlimited number of discounted VIP Guest Packages to ITU members. In addition free admission will be granted to registrants employed by a cable or service provider, or network professionals at a large enterprise, educational establishment, utility, or government agency. Details of the offer here.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:29:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 05, 2009

ITU-T's Study Group 5 (SG5) meeting for the first time with its new name and mandate “environment and climate change” has started work on turning the deliverables of the Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change into ITU-T Recommendations. Key among them is the methodology giving ICT companies a consistent mechanism to report their carbon footprints (see previous newslog). In addition to Study Group 5's two Working Parties involved in studies related to the electromagnetic environment, a new Working Party dealing with ICTs and Climate Change has been established.

The meeting also saw a correspondence from the GSMA requesting the support of ITU for its work on a Universal Charging Solution (UCS). The request was positively received and SG5 will work on adopting the solution as an ITU-T Recommendation.

The UCS proposal is for an energy-efficient one-charger-fits-all new mobile phones solution. GSMA estimates it will result in a 50 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption, elimination of 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers and a subsequent reduction of 13.6 million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year. GSMA says that UCS will also make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger.

The SG 5 meeting appointed new leads (working party, vice chairs and rapporteurs) for the various new work areas (questions) including; coordination and planning of ICT and climate change related standardization; methodology of environmental impact assessment of ICT; data collection for energy efficiency for ICTs over the lifecycle and environmental protection and recycling of ICT equipments/facilities.

Also at the meeting two new ITU-T Recommendations were consented; K.80 electromagentic compatibility (EMC) requirements for telecommunication network equipment (1 GHz - 6 GHz) and K.81 high power electromagnetic (HPEM) immunity guide for telecommunication systems.

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Friday, June 05, 2009 4:25:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 28, 2009

On the occasion of the third Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change, which will take place on 8-10 July 2009, in Quito, Ecuador, ITU has revised and published a background paper on this important issue.

The paper reflects recent work done in the three ITU Sectors, including the work of the Focus Group and the creation of an ITU-T Study Group on Environment and Climate Change, and addresses key issues in the Latin American region, such as deforestation and emergency communications.

The rise in the number of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes in the Caribbean, threats to low-lying areas from rising oceans are evidence of the impact of climate change on developing countries and in the Americas. Latin America is particularly impacted by deforestation, which, according to estimations, contributes nearly one-fifth of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

For developing countries, implementing climate change solutions raises questions of funding, financing and access to technology, and thus this updated background paper addresses these issues and presents examples of national plans and innovations in technologies to reduce emissions. The annex provides an inventory of work underway in ITU on climate change.

The background paper can be downloaded here.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:34:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 08, 2009

Episode 1 of TelecomTV's Green Planet features Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU, talking about ITU's ICTs and Climate Change initiative.

The Green Planet series provides an overview of different elements of Sustainable ICT. Featuring leading scientists, politicians and heads of industry from across the globe, Green Planet is a timely and fascinating examination of issues and solutions that will change the world.

Watch here.

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Friday, May 08, 2009 4:28:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 04, 2009

The Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) concluding its three day meeting 30 April agreed on how work on ICTs and environment including climate change and recycling will be distributed in ITU-T. This follows its approval of the report of the Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change and will formalize the Focus Group’s output as ITU-T Recommendations (see previous newslog) – including a methodology for evaluating the effects of ICTs on climate change - both in direct terms and how ICTs can reduce emission in other industry sectors.

Study Group 5 was chosen as the lead study group and will be renamed the Study Group on Environment and Climate Change to reflect its new mandate. SG 5 remains the lead Study Group for protection against electromagnetic effects.

Specifically SG 5 will work on documents related to:

  • Study of methodologies for calculating the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from ICTs, and the amount of reduction in the GHG emissions in other sectors as a result of using ICTs.
  • Creation of a framework for energy efficiency in the ICT field, taking account of WTSA Resolution 73.
  • Study of methodologies for power feeding that effectively reduce power consumption and resource usage.
  • Study of methodologies that reduce environmental effects for ICT facilities and equipment such as recycling,

Study Group 5 will next meet 25-29 May in Geneva and is likely to establish a new working party to address these issues. The many organisations that contributed to the work of the Focus Group will be open to contribute at the invitation of the Study Group chairman.

In addition a Joint Coordination Activity (JCA) will ensure that the work across ITU-T’s study groups is focused on delivering climate change focused standards in a timely and efficient way. Essentially the group will aim to see that standards are developed in the most appropriate way and that no duplication of effort occurs. It will also provide a single point of contact for ICT and Climate Change activities in ITU-T and seek collaboration from external bodies working in the field. It is expected that the work of the JCA will be carried out mainly via web-conferencing tools.

Full details will be published on the website of Study Group 5 and a soon to be created JCA page.

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Monday, May 04, 2009 2:06:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 27, 2009

Standardized methodologies for calculating the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been proposed by an ITU Focus Group meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.

The ITU-T Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change, a global group comprising of some of the world’s leading ICT players, has developed a method for calculating two elements:

1.   Energy usage and carbon impact arising from ICT lifecycles

2.   Decrease in GHG emissions that can be achieved with ICTs, such as substituting ICT services and devices for intensive fossil-fuelled activities for travel and transport and by replacing atoms with bits (buying an MP3 file instead of a CD), also known as “dematerialization”.

The meeting agreed on a set of four ‘deliverables’ that also give guidance on terms and definitions, including units of measurement to be used. The deliverables draw on best practices from many organizations around the world and will be published as the proceedings of the Focus Group. The next step will be to formally issue the Focus Group outcomes as ITU-T Recommendations, or standards. 

“This work has an important bearing on current and future global agreements under which countries undertake commitments to reduce their overall GHG emissions,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “Common approaches to calculating the impact of ICTs are vital to ensure coherent and effective solutions.”

Clearly, ICTs have the potential to drastically reduce GHGs. A contribution to the Focus Group meeting showed that direct e-mail has the effect of a 98.5 per cent carbon dioxide emission reduction compared with paper. The group also noted a trend towards ‘always-on’ devices that are a drain on power supplies. Recommended steps toward more efficient energy use of ICT devices are part of the output of the group.

“Even conservative estimates show a significant contribution to addressing climate change can be made through the application of ICTs,” said Johnson. “But, we cannot be content to sit and tell one another that ICTs can mitigate climate change. We must demonstrate our case with hard facts and figures. This methodology will give added credibility and coherence to the estimates of the positive impact of ICT. A common methodology will help establish the business case to go green and can ultimately be beneficial to informed consumer choices and climate-friendly business procurement.”

Dave Faulkner, BT and Chairman of the Focus Group said, “The Focus Group has highlighted ways to minimize the ICT sector's carbon footprint. But, more importantly, the group has highlighted key ways to reduce GHG emissions in other sectors by the clever use of telecommunication and ICTs. We expect these measures will be taken up by telecommunications operators and vendors around the world.”

Jason Marcheck, a Principal Analyst with Current Analysis: “Without a standardized methodology for measuring the carbon footprint of ICTs it is impossible to fully comprehend data provided by well-meaning companies. This initiative helps to provide a framework that companies can follow to give reliable data that can be compared on an international scale. It shows the importance that the ICT industry attaches to this topic, and represents a necessary step forward in standardizing the way that the industry approaches environmental sustainability.”

Takashi Hanazawa, Senior Vice President, NTT: “The development and implementation of a standardized methodology is something that all industry players have been waiting for. As an ITU member, NTT has supported this work from the beginning. Today’s announcement sends a strong message, underlining this industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. We applaud ITU’s efforts and join with ITU management in sending a message of environmental consciousness and belief in sustainable growth for the future.”

Makoto Totsuka, Director-General for ICT Strategic Policy Planning, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan: “Prior to the Focus Group, we have not had an international forum for discussing common measures to calculate the positive and negative aspect of ICTs. We were honoured to host the final meeting of the Focus Group and would like to thank all delegates for their efforts. We will continue to contribute to ITU activity on ICT and Climate Change and environmental issues.”

Laura Ipsen, Senior Vice President of Cisco Global Policy and Government Affairs and co-chair of the Cisco EcoBoard: “Accurate, standardized measurement is the first step towards effective reduction of the ICT carbon footprint. The ITU-T Focus Group deliverables provide a valuable foundation for further ICT industry global collaboration in helping to address the world’s environmental challenges. Cisco is committed to continuing its efforts in ITU and with customers globally for energy efficiency in an inclusive and sustainable information society.”

As part of its ongoing work on ICTs and climate change, ITU is organizing the third Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Quito, Ecuador, 8− 10 July 2009, hosted by Centro Internacional de Investigación Científica en Telecomunicaciones, Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (CITIC) Ecuador. More details here.



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Friday, March 27, 2009 4:37:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) held its first ever meeting on 4 December 2008 during the Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad.

The DCICC is an open group committed to moderating the environmental impact of the Internet and to seeking new ways to embrace the power of the Internet for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.

The meeting was well-attended and many new entities joined the Coalition, which was originally launched by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), Japan and British Telecom.

At its meeting, the Coalition agreed on a set of objectives and actions for the coming year. One major objective will be to advocate the important role that ICTs can play as an enabling technology to reduce GHG emissions in all sectors and the need for the Internet to grow in an environmentally-friendly manner. More information about the DCICC can be found on its website hosted by the ITU at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/dc/index.html.

ITU also organized a workshop the IGF on the “Internet and Climate Change”, which featured a number of prominent speakers and generated a lively debate on this issue. Speakers noted that while ICTs contribute about 2.5 percent to annual GHG emissions, ICTs can potentially play an important role to reduce these emissions across all sectors.

Thursday, December 18, 2008 5:05:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 21, 2008

The second meeting of the Focus Group on ICT and Climate Change will take place 25-28 November 2008, at ITU Headquarters in Geneva.

The meeting will gather global experts and continue work to finalize the four Deliverables on ICT and climate change that the Group has been mandated to prepare, notably an agreed methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on GHG emissions.

The recent WTSA-08 adopted Resolution 73 emphasising the high priority given to work on this issue in ITU-T.

This is an open meeting and registration is available online. The meeting will be paperless and is accessible via audiocast and webinar. For more information please visit the FG ICT&CC website.

Friday, November 21, 2008 2:22:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FG ICT & CC - Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change

Geneva, 25-28 November 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 243 for more information.

FG ICT & CC Home

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 5:26:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The latest issue of IEEE Communications Magazine features a number of articles on ITU-T.

As well as a general article on the challenges faced by ITU-T, more detailed pieces focus on working methods, initiatives on climate change, audio coding, optical transport and bridging the standardization gap.

An electronic version of the publication can be seen here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 12:58:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008

Geneva, 21 October 2008 — Yesterday, the first-ever Global Standards Symposium closed in Johannesburg, South Africa with broad agreement from industry and standards bodies on the need to take aggressive action to streamline standards work and end confusion and duplication.

Opening the event, ITU standards chief Malcolm Johnson said: “Confusion and duplication cannot serve the purposes of anyone… consumer, manufacturer, service provider, rich or poor country. Clarity, and efficiency must be brought to bear in this – most important of industrial sectors.”

Industry and standards leaders argued that the bewildering array of standards bodies that exists today is costly and inefficient. It is estimated that over 300 ICT standards bodies exist. GSS delegates agreed that keeping track of them was alone a difficult enough task. Better coordination at an international level is needed between industry and standards developing organizations (SDOs) to ensure that standardization needs are met quickly and efficiently. Steps are being planned to establish a direct line of communication between technology leaders and ITU’s standardization arm, to ensure that emerging needs are addressed in the most efficient manner and the most appropriate place. This is ITU’s role, Johnson said, as the world’s pre-eminent ICT standards body.

ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Touré underlined the importance of standards in times of financial crisis: “Standards are a proven tool in terms of economic development,” he said in his opening speech. “The World Trade Organization (WTO) trade report of 2005 underlines the important benefits that standards can deliver…standards may have a significant effect on limiting the undesirable outcomes of market failure. And, the work of ITU and other bodies in the development of global standards for ICTs and telecoms has helped the smoother, more economical introduction of new technologies.”

Other topics tackled at the Global Standards Symposium in Johannesburg were ICTs and climate change, increasing developing country participation in the standardization process, and accessibility to ICTs for people with disabilities.

Delegates were called on to set an example by committing to specific programs to limit and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help ensure that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner. The importance of the work of the ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was recognized; in particular the need for a standardized approach to measuring the impact of ICTs on the reduction of GHG emissions.

Bridging the standardization gap is the term ITU uses to describe its efforts to increase developing country participation in the standards making process. Recent efforts by the ITU-T were applauded, for example holding five regional forums in 2008, establishing a voluntary fund to be used for workshops and meetings in developing countries, fellowships, remote participation, surveys and study programmes. It was recognized that the increased involvement of developing countries in standardization work provides an opportunity to better consider their needs in developing new standards and will help to meet the traditional objective of ITU in continuing to ensure global interoperability of communications.

ITU was also applauded for its efforts so far in the arena of accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities and encouraged to continue and increase efforts in producing standards that support the ICT needs of persons with disabilities. Work to develop an on-line toolkit that will serve as a global electronic repository of policies and strategies and as a platform for sharing experiences on best practices on ICT accessibility was announced.

The GSS took place one day before the start of ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) which is a quadrennial event where ITU members decide on the direction of ITU’s standardization work for the next four years. The inaugural GSS gathered Ministers and Ambassadors, senior executives from the private sector and lead officials from other standards bodies. A report from the GSS will be submitted to WTSA-08 and high on its agenda there are likely to be topics such as those discussed at the GSS but also cybersecurity, IPTV, and some Internet related issues. A communiqué will also be issued following WTSA-08.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:26:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The seventh in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports covers next generation networks (NGN) and energy efficiency.

The report examines the relationship between climate change and NGN by analyzing energy efficiency and applications.

NGNs are seen by many as the new network architecture that will unify today’s fixed, mobile and broadcast networks. This innovative technology is expected to bring about greater energy efficiency than legacy networks by, for example, reducing the number of switching centres and increased temperature tolerance within those centres. NGNs are expected by some commentators to reduce energy consumption by 40 per cent compared to today’s public switched telephone network (PSTN).

This report presents an overview of the main characteristics of NGN and looks at how NGN can minimize the power consumption of the network, transmission and end-user equipment and in data centres. It examines the energy savings that can be indirectly obtained from greater NGN usage, such as remote collaboration and ITU-T standardization work on NGN and climate change.

Download the report here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 9:43:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A meeting of the world’s leading ICT standards bodies has urged members to support the ITU-T Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change. The ITU group formed earlier in July is working on the development of methodologies for the analysis, evaluation and quantification of greenhouse gas emissions from the ICT sector and the reductions that may be achieved through the use of ICTs in other sectors, and is open to any interested organisation.

A Resolution named ICT and the Environment from the Thirteenth Global Standards Collaboration (GSC-13) meeting asks that participating standards organizations (PSOs) share their views and experiences on this topic with ITU. The Resolution gives high priority to standards development related to ICT and climate change and encourages PSOs to closely collaborate on the topic. The Resolution promotes the following areas:

- awareness of changing environment and impacts of ICTs
- energy-saving definitions, reference models, gap analysis, measurement methods, quantification methods, and requirements in a harmonized way
- development of ICT standardization that have a positive impact on the environment
- electronic working methods and its tools
- use of ICTs (e.g. USN, RFIDs etc.) for monitoring and measuring climate change.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU's Standardization Bureau said, "This Resolution promotes a spirit of collaboration and mutual support in order that this globally important issue is tackled with the utmost efficiency. ITU gives all the world's standardization bodies the opportunity to work together to apply the power of ICTs to this greatest of all challenges".

The Thirteenth Global Standards Collaboration (GSC-13) was hosted by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) in Boston, Massachusetts. One hundred participants attended. They included representatives from the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) of Japan, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) of China, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) from the U.S., the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of Korea and the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan.

GSC-13 is the latest in a series of such events that commenced in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1990. The events provide a strategic opportunity for dialogue among senior officials from national, regional and international standards bodies. The next GSC meeting will be hosted by the ITU, the 13th to 16th of July 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:14:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:07:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 10, 2008

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU interviewed by Gareth Mitchell on the BBC's Digital Planet programme on ICTs and climate change. Podcast available here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:50:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, June 21, 2008

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change closed June 18 with a call for ITU to increase its activities in three areas: reducing energy consumption of ICT equipment; promoting efficiencies to be gained through the use of ICTs in other sectors; encouraging behaviour change – both in business and consumers.

"We are here because we are seeking to find the best ways to make ICTs a critical element in addressing climate change, and to identify the work that must be carried out in standards development, environmental monitoring, climate change mitigation and adaptation," said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau.

In a message to the symposium, UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon commended ITU for working with partners inside and outside the UN family to give high priority to actions in this field. "The information and communication technology sector has much to offer in creating a cleaner, greener world," he said.

Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December 1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. The ICT Sector produces between two to three per cent of the total emissions of greenhouse gases, but if applied to reducing emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings, could reduce global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent depending on the methodology used to make these estimates.

The first ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, held in Kyoto April 15-16, and co-organised by MIC Japan, drew attention to the wide variation in estimates on the impact of the fast paced ICT evolution on the global climate and recommended that ITU standardise methodologies for estimating the impact of ICTs on climate change both directly and indirectly. This was confirmed in London.

The chairmen’s reports of the two symposia will now be forwarded to the G8 Summit, to be held at Lake Toya, Hokkaido Prefecture in July 2008, and to other relevant meetings.

“We must remind ourselves that this is only a first step on the long road to finding and implementing global solutions to the challenge of climate change through the use of ICTs. What is important is not so much what we say this week, but how we act and follow up on the momentum we have created” said Johnson.

Speaker Luis Neves, chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a group comprised of key technology companies and organizations (including ITU) said that communications technology is a part of the climate change solution. A GeSI study on facilitating the low carbon economy in the information age has been published.

The London symposium was chaired by Mr. Tom Walker, Director, Europe and international Business Relations, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), UK.

During the opening session BT chairman Sir Michael Rake accepted a Queen's Award for Enterprise - recognizing the company’s efforts in the field of sustainable development. The award - also received by BT in 2003 and which runs for five years - was presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman David Lewis on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

The ITU is expected to conduct most of its work using remote collaboration tools. It may also undertake a gap analysis of work being carried out among other standardization development organizations so as to better focus its activities. In the closing session Johnson strongly encouraged all the attendees, as well others, to participate in this work.

Presentations from Kyoto and London can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 6:47:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 13, 2008

The second ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (June 17-18 in London, UK, hosted by BT) will be made available as a live webcast in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world.

The symposium will bring together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. (See here for programme, bios and presentation slides).

Remote participants may also submit questions in real-time to: TSBSPD@itu.int.

Register now for free webcast access.

Friday, June 13, 2008 8:54:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 02, 2008

Interview with Malcom Johnson, Director, ITU, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. Malcom Johnson talks about the increasing emphasis on green ICT and ICT standards for climate change.

Watch now.

Monday, June 02, 2008 10:24:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The ITU/MIC Kyoto Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change closed 16 April with agreement that ITU should play a significant role in the global effort to combat climate change.

A number of actions were recommended for ITU. Among them was a task for ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) which was tasked with the development of an internationally agreed standard methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, both in terms of the direct emission of greenhouse gases, and the savings that can be generated in other sectors of industry through the application of ICTs.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, supported the meeting’s recommendation that an ITU-T Focus Group would be an appropriate vehicle to take forward this work. He said that he would propose the formation of a new group to ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its next meeting in July. However, to move quickly, he encouraged the submission of proposals on the terms of reference for this group, as well as initial proposals on methodologies, to: tsbtechwatch@itu.int.

Johnson also proposed that a draft Resolution would be presented at this year’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), in Johannesburg, October. The document is expected to outline ITU-T’s responsibility in identifying the role that ICTs should play in the mitigation and monitoring of climate change and target reductions for the industry.

Experts agreed that the chairman’s report of the Kyoto event provides an excellent start point for the Resolution which will be discussed in further detail at the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, 17-18 June 2008 in London. More information is also available in the meeting summary and the ITU background report.

The chairman’s report of the Kyoto symposium will also 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. Register: [more information]

Presentations from Kyoto can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed for more detailed reports on the Kyoto event.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3:15:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 21, 2008
The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan (hosted by MIC Japan), brings together policy makers and experts from international organisations and consortia, research institutes and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

The first session of the Symposium asked: Will ICTs come to our rescue? The Chairman of this session, Mr Art Levin, Head of ITU’s Corporate Governance and Membership Division, outlined the Kyoto process and the latest results of climate research, and referred to the role that information and communication technologies play in climate change, not only in contributing to global warming, but also in monitoring it, mitigating its impact and helping adaptation in some of the most vulnerable parts of the globe. He invited panelists from the ICT sector to identify the fields in which their company, organisation or institution comes to the rescue.

Session speakers all agree on the need but there are different ideas on methodology:

Dr Luis Neves, Chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), described the objectives of this industry-led initiative as a double strategy:

  1. GeSI members are actively implementing measures leading to increasing energy efficiency and decoupling energy consumption from CO2-emissions.
  2. They offer services to their customers, which increase there energy efficiency as well, e.g. tele/audioconferencing to replace traveling and teleworking to avoid commuting. E-Commerce instead of going to the supermarket, Business-TV, E-Business, E-Learning, E-Teaching, E-Government.

A similar strategy is described in an early study by a joint initiative of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) and WWF with the title “Saving the climate @ the speed of light”. This frequently cited study shows, that in the period up to 2010, the potential savings that can be achieved by ETNO members exceed by tenfold their current CO2 emissions. However, the study raises new questions: What will happen after 2010? What happens outside Europe?

Dr Neves announced the publication of a new study (5 June 2008) carried out by GeSI and The Climate Group. This study examines over a period of 12 years (until 2020) how ICTs can not only deliver energy savings and carbon reduction, but do so in a way that drives even greater economic growth and productivity.

The second Panelist, Mr Tetsuo Yamakawa, Director-General, International Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, presented the results of a study of his Ministry, which includes a net energy consumption forecast for Japan, based on current technologies and consumer behaviour: By 2012 the electricity meter would pass the 57 billion kWh mark, which could be reduced to 44 billion, by introducing more energy efficient technologies. However, the broadcasting sector will emit a further 73 billion kWh, and solutions have to be found to reduce energy consumption in this sector. Mr Yamakawa named not less than 19 areas which have been identified by the Ministry for reductions of CO2 with the aid of ICTs. The study will be published in English language soon.

Climate-friendliness as a sales and marketing argument

Mr Jeff Hurmuses, President, China and Japan, of Tandberg spoke on “The potential of video-conferencing to reduce travel”. Studies conducted by Tandberg and Ipsos show the willingness of customers to buy goods and services from “green” companies rather than from companies with no or bad environmental reputation. Moreover, climate-friendliness influences the employment market, as 80 per cent of employees preferred working for a company that uses environmental responsible methods and tools (such as video-conferencing and remote collaboration tools) instead of extensive business traveling.

Prof Jun Fujimoto from the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, spoke on “Ecodesign of an ICT society”. He presented the results of a study carried out by his institution on the likely effects of ICTs by 2020. The overall effect is a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2-3 per cent, rising to 10 per cent by 2050. However, the effects will not be uniform. If one takes social change into account, it is possible to increase the saving from 10 to 40 per cent by 2050. He concluded that the ICT revolution can have a big impact on assisting the environment.

Dr Tim Kelly, Head, Standardization Policy Division, ITU-T presented the “ITU background report on ICTs and climate change”, which had been especially prepared for this symposium. This background report pulls together some of the studies mentioned before and illustrates the activities of the three sectors and the General Secretariat of the ITU as an international standardisation body and specialized agency of the United Nations.

The title for this session, “ICTs to the Rescue” was phrased as a question. In the view of the panel, the issue should not be framed as a question, but as an affirmative statement. The key is to make the positive effect of ICTs significantly larger than the negative effects.

The use of ICTs is growing and will continue to grow, especially in developing countries. However, in the area of ICTs there are two main positive roles: emission reductions by the sector and emission reduction achieved by the use of ICTs. As to the latter, the sector can also serve as an enabling technology by developing products and services that promote the use of ICTs to reduce emissions in other sectors.

All Panelists agreed that ICTs can only be a part of the solution. The process of climate change cannot be stopped or slowed down by ICTs alone – it needs people, consumers, and users to intervene into current trends fast and energetically, and to act environmentally responsible.

The second day of the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (16 April 2008) will be available as a webinar (webinar registration, live audio stream) in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Sessions titles include “ICTs as a clean technology” (e.g. remote collaboration, energy-efficient broadband, and other e-Environment opportunities), “Towards a high-bandwidth, low carbon future”, and “Adapting to climate change”.

The concluding wrap-up session will review comments on the draft Resolution on ICTs and Climate Change for WTSA-08. The revised chairman’s report and draft Resolution will be forwarded for review by the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, to be held 17-18 June 2008 in London, hosted by BT. The Kyoto recommendations will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the OECD (in Republic of Korea), the G8 (in Japan) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

 

Monday, April 21, 2008 2:41:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 11, 2008

The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (April 15-16 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.

Remote participants may also submit questions in real-time to: TSBSPD@itu.int.

To register:

  •  for Day 1, 15 April click here.
  •  for Day 2, 16 April click here.

Programme including bios and presentations (times in JST, London -8, New York -13).

System requirements

Live audio stream here.

ITU Background Paper on ICTs and Climate Change

Friday, April 11, 2008 3:26:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 9:45:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 19, 2008

“Increase productivity, save time and money while reducing your company’s carbon footprint”; this is the ambitious sales pitch for a new family of tools that promise to offer the 3Cs - communication, collaboration and coordination - without the requirement for physical travel. For ITU-T, whose basic mission is to encourage collaborative work among a global membership on the development and adoption of international standards, remote collaboration is a daily necessity.

A new report, the fifth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports, describes how Remote Collaboration Tools can facilitate collaboration with colleagues, and support businesses in overcoming the geographical limitations of everyday work. Remote collaboration tools can be used alongside, or integrated with, traditional office applications (such as e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets) or as an enabler of collaboration, communication and coordination. Using online meetings, collaboration that might not have occurred otherwise (as a consequence of tight schedules, long distances, or the high cost of business travel), may now take place.

For developing countries, remote collaboration tools can thus be seen as a helpful instrument in overcoming the digital divide and for “Bridging the Standardization Gap”, an ITU initiative to facilitate the participation of developing countries in the standards development process.

Furthermore, replacing long-distance travel by online meetings makes remote collaboration tools a clean, green technology, which is particularly important in the context of current global concerns over climate change. In 2007, ITU-T organized and provided logistical and secretariat support for some 85 meetings/workshops, representing a total of 339 meeting days, as well as numerous smaller informal meetings, such as rapporteur groups of steering committees. Holding even a small number of those meetings online would reduce travel and therefore have a significant impact on ITU-T’s carbon footprint.

Two upcoming ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change (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, supported and hosted by BT) 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.

Download Technology Watch report on Remote Collaboration Tools

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:51:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When you enter a modern office building, such as ITU-T’s office in Geneva, it is quite common for the glass doors to open automatically and for lights to come on as you enter a darkened room. This “magic” is achieved by motion sensors. But entering a building in the future, you might be welcomed by name with a personal greeting and given security access suitable to your status (e.g., employee, delegate, newcomer). To do this without human intervention would require not only intelligent sensors but also perhaps ID tags and readers and interaction with a database.

In a new Technology Watch briefing report from ITU-T, the term “Ubiquitous Sensor Networks” (USN) is used to describe networks of intelligent sensor nodes that could be deployed “anywhere, anytime, by anyone and anything”. The technology has huge potential as it could generate applications in a wide range of civilian and military fields, including ensuring safety and security, environment and habitat monitoring, real-time healthcare, landmine detection and intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Sensor nodes may vary enormously in size, cost and complexity. Their characteristics are highly application-specific. Depending on the sensor type, the links between sensors may be provided by either wired or wireless communication. Energy-efficient operation is an important requirement for scenarios where sensor nodes are deployed in hazardous or inaccessible environments.

The variability of USN poses a challenge to researchers and a number of different standards development organizations (SDOs) are already engaged int this field. Within ITU-T, USN standardization is being carried out under the auspices of the Next-Generation Network Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI). The new report, the fourth in a series of ITU-T Technology Watch Briefing Reports, describes the different components of USN, notes the standardization work currently going on in ITU-T, and gives an overview of the different fields of applications of USN in both, developed and developing countries.

Download Technology Watch report on Ubiquitous Sensor Networks

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 10:28:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 07, 2008

Max Mosley, the head of Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, calls for accelerated standards development to support ICTs in vehicles for improvements in safety, and the mitigation and monitoring of climate change. Speaking at ITU’s annual Fully Networked Car event at the Geneva Motor Show, Mosley said that the leading edge expertise within F1 to develop “green” technologies could have applications beyond the sport, particularly in the area of fuel efficiency and monitoring of environmental impact. Most F1 teams have as many as 300 channels of information flowing between the cars and the pit crew and as the complexity of systems grow their interconnection will become critical he said.

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, reminded participants that the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called climate change the “moral challenge of our generation”. He said: “With the Fully Networked Car we can provide traffic management, monitoring, and analysis, all of which will help meet the climate change challenge. Those who successfully meet this challenge will end up with a real competitive advantage in world markets.”

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The new 2008 Honda Racing F1 “Earthdreams” car with Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General; Max Mosley, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU.

Michel Mayer, CEO Freescale Semiconductor, a leading supplier of ICTs to F1 and one of the sponsors of the event, expressed concerns at the proliferation of proprietary standards and called for global standards bodies such as ITU to take a lead. He said that it is critical that further development be standards-driven.

The event also featured a keynote presentation from David Butler, Marketing Director, Honda Racing F1 Team, who emphasised how the powerful brand platform of F1 can present a global environmental message. The Fully Networked Car event had as its centrepiece the new 2008 Honda Racing F1 “Earthdreams” car.

A particular concern, according to experts, is in the areas of telematics and the application of intelligent transport systems (ITS) which participants at the Fully Networked Car agreed offer the best solution for a reduced carbon footprint from the global use of vehicles.

ITU will help to push this standards work and convergence between the ICT and automotive industries with initiatives such as its FITCAR (From/In/To Cars Communication) Focus Group, and the hosting of the Advisory Panel for Standards Cooperation on Telecommunications related to Motor Vehicles (ASPC TELEMOV). Also helping to step up this activity, Malcolm Johnson, ITU’s director of standards, announced that the Fully Networked Car event – already in its fourth year - will now become a regular fixture bringing together the two industries. The 2009 event is planned for 4-6 March. ITU will also be organising two ITU symposia on ICTs and Climate Change: in Kyoto, 15-16 April, hosted by the government of Japan; and in London, 17-18 June, hosted by BT.

Priorities identified for future standardization included: a common set of standards for the full range of nomadic devices; standards for software defined radios; standards to cope with the gap between the short lifecycle of mobile phones compared to the relatively long lifecycle of cars; and privacy, where there is a need for a common understanding about what data is reasonable to collect and retain.

The Fully Networked Car event brought together over 200 experts from the ICT and automotive worlds. It was organised by ITU with the support of ISO and IEC under the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) banner.

Enquiries to: Toby Johnson, +41 79 249 4868 or toby.johnson@itu.int.

More photos on Flickr












Friday, March 07, 2008 4:25:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 22, 2008

Senior technical experts have laid down the gauntlet on energy saving in ICTs following a recent meeting in Geneva.

Following tutorials on power saving, at a recent meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 15 (SG 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 (WTSA-08). Reduction of power consumption should and can be done without the degradation of services according to experts. Presentations from the tutorials are available here.

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 Bali, Indonesia, 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, 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 requires our urgent attention, he said.

The issue of power saving will be discussed within the wider context of climate change at Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change, to be held April 15-16 2008 in Kyoto, Japan, hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and 17-18 June 2008 in London, hosted by BT. 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 broadband access networks 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. It is essentially, a set of questions relating 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.

In order that this work is completed with the highest degree of efficiency there is broad consensus that ITU action has to be taken in partnership with all other bodies working in the field and that everything is done to avoid duplication of work.

Friday, February 22, 2008 3:59:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 14, 2008

IEEE Communications Magazine has issued a call for papers: ITU-T International Standards in Information and Communications Technologies. Contributions are solicited for an issue focusing on ITU-T's role in developing global standards for ICTs.

Contributions should include but are not limited to the following areas:

Overview of the ITU-T standardization mechanisms and process: Building consensus, alternative approval process (AAP), WTSA, TSAG, Study Groups, Focus Groups, IPR policy, the role of TSB etc.

  • ITU-T Strategy
  • Bridging the standardization gap
  • Hot standardization topics in ITU-T including standards coordination aspects
  • Access technologies
  • Transport technologies
  • Advanced Multimedia System (AMS)
  • ICTs for climate change

The manuscript submission date is April 15, 2008 .

More details here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:57:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 01, 2008

ITU will team up with ISO and IEC for a third time in 2008 to present the Fully Networked Car. The three organisations working together under the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) banner will host the workshop and exhibition at one of the world’s leading automotive events, the Geneva International Motor Show.

Key for 2008 is the question: How can ICTs in vehicles help mitigate and monitor climate change? The Honda Racing F1 Team has kindly agreed to display, as the key feature of the exhibition, its new 2008 F1 “Earthdreams car” to give special emphasis to the environmental theme. Experts believe that more sophisticated traffic management and driver assistance systems can help reduce the environmental impact caused by motoring.

2008 will see a keynote speech from Max Mosley, president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), organizer of the Formula One World Championship.

In general, the event, 5 - 7 March, will focus on information and communication technologies (ICT) in motor vehicles and specifically standards that will facilitate the convergence of these industries.

ICT in vehicles represents a significant value-add for consumers in terms of safety, comfort and mobility. Predictions for the size of the market run into billions of dollars and stakeholders agree that standardization is key to the development of new technologies and that coordination between the traditionally remote vehicle manufacturing and ICT industries is crucial.

The Fully Networked Car brings together experts ranging from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and analysts. The workshop programme features speakers from some of the biggest names in the ICT and automobile industries. The panel of high-level global experts that will frame the major issues and engage the audience in discussion on this important topic come from companies including: BMW, Connexis, Fiat, Ford, Freescale Semiconductor, Honda, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, SVOX, Telefonica, Telcordia, Toyota-InfoTechnology Center, T-Systems, Volvo and Wavecom.

Among other topics to be discussed are the radio spectrum used for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications; the convergence of telematics and infotainment and systems and standards related to safety.

Friday, February 01, 2008 11:04:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the context of ITU-T's efforts to address climate change issues, Study Group 15 will hold three tutorials on energy saving techniques during its February meeting.

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.

The tutorials to be held 13, 14 and 15 February will look at the checklist as well as topics such as energy efficient Ethernet and opportunities and techniques for power saving in DSL and PON. 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 be included.

Friday, February 01, 2008 9:27:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |