Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to speak here today and to offer you my warm
congratulations on the launch of the ICT4EE Forum.
As we all know, climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us today.
Energy efficiency is clearly key to tackling this great challenge and so the
focus of this forum will be very important in accelerating work to combat
climate change. I am very glad to see the European Commission’s initiative in
this area and very pleased at the prospect of the ICT4EE Forum collaborating
with the ITU.
The ITU is the United Nations agency for information and communication
technologies (ICTs). ITU has a membership of 191 governments, and unusually for
a UN agency, around 700 private sector entities.
We rely heavily on our private sector members for the development of our global
standards which we call Recommendations.
ITU has open, transparent, consensus based, and fast working standards
development processes; probably the fastest of any standards body.
Once consensus has been reached, draft standards are placed on our website and
if no comments are received after four weeks they are approved, in effect by 191
ITU standards are therefore truly global, open standards, unlike those of many
other standards bodies, forums or consortia that claim to produce global and
Ladies and Gentlemen, climate change is one of the top priorities of ITU.
It has been high on our agenda since the publication of our Technology Watch
Report on ICTs and climate change in 2007.
The report was very well received and led to two symposia in Kyoto and London in
2008 where the need for a common methodology for estimating the impact of ICTs
on climate change became apparent.
In order to provide consistent reporting of the impacts – both positive and
negative – of ICTs and to promote ICTs as part of the solution, a globally
agreed common methodology was seen as being essential.
Shortly after the London Symposium an ITU Focus Group on ICTs and Climate Change
was set up. Focus Groups are created to generate a momentum on a particular
standards initiative. They can adopt their own working methods and are open to
participation by any interested party, not only ITU members.
The Focus Group benefited from contributions from 20 different organizations and
after 28 meetings (all but three virtual meetings) concluded successfully with
four deliverables including an outline methodology in March 2009.
Our “Environment and Climate Change” Study Group (ITU-T SG5) is now progressing
this work on methodologies in several domains: life cycle environmental impact
of ICTs goods and services, and ICT projects; and environmental impact of ICTs
in organizations, and in countries.
We aim to finalize the first two methodologies by the end of this year while the
other two will be finalized by the end of 2011.
I am pleased that this plan is in alignment with your roadmap.
In addition and in line with the remit of ICT4EE, I should point out that Study
Group 5 is also working on energy efficient power feeding systems for telecom
offices and datacenters.
Another notable achievement of Study Group 5 in 2009 was Recommendation L.1000
on an energy efficient universal charger for mobile phones.
This Universal Charging Solution offers predicted potential savings of at least
13.6 million tons of CO2 a year, and up to 82,000 tons of dumped chargers a
In the last few weeks we have accelerated work in the field of Smart Grid. The
US Department of Energy estimates that full deployment of Smart Grids could
reduce 18% of GHG emissions in the US electricity sector by 2030. Our members
have identified the need for global standards in this area and so we are
creating another Focus Group that will allow participation of all players
including, importantly the energy sector.
Together with ISO and IEC we are working on efficient ICT solutions to reduce
emission in the automotive sector, and we have another Fully Networked Car event
at the Geneva Motor Show on 3-4 March to which you are all very welcome.
Other ITU-T Study Groups are carrying out studies and developing standards on
ICTs that will reduce GHG emissions in areas such as teleworking,
teleconferencing, dematerialization, which means replacing atoms with bits, and
low power devices.
Last year we held further symposia on ICTs and Climate Change.
A symposium was held in Quito, Ecuador, the first we have held in a developing
country. It was interesting that this linked ICTs and climate change with
bridging the digital divide. The event’s conclusion was that the 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.
In September 2009, ITU with the help of Korea, held the first fully virtual
symposium on ICTs and Climate Change with speakers and moderators participating
remotely from 12 different countries, and over 600 participants followed and
interacted with the speakers remotely from around the world.
Also in September we held a joint Seminar with World Meteorological Organization
on the role of ICTs, and satellites in particular, in monitoring climate change
and detecting and responding to natural disasters.
At ITU’s Telecom World event in October last year, we held a session on ICTs and
Climate Change where the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon stated that ICTs
are vital to confront the threat of climate change.
ITU actively participated in the UNFCCC preparatory meetings for COP15 and
submitted two documents on the role of ICTs in mitigating climate change.
At Copenhagen we hosted sessions every day except the Sunday on ICTs and climate
change with remote presenters using telepresence, and held side events with the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) which attracted a lot of interest.
So, although COP15 was disappointing in many ways I feel that we were at least
successful in raising awareness of the problem and the significant role ICTs can
Many organizations, forums, consortia and regional and national bodies are now
working on ICT and climate change issues. Collaboration between all these
efforts is vital for efficient and consistent progress of this urgent work.
At the recent SG5 meeting in January, we were pleased to received inputs from
European Commission (the Code of Conduct and the Earth Project), Digitaleurope,
GeSI, ETSI; IEC; ISO; UNFCCC and OECD.
ITU, being a UN Agency with its unique mix of 191 governments and over 700
private sector members, and its willingness to openly collaborate with all
players in this great effort to address climate change through the application
of ICTs, is ready and willing to offer a facilitating role in achieving global
agreement on methodologies for the ICT sector, and any other related activity
which will help mankind mitigate and adapt to climate change.
I wish ICT4EE Forum great success and I look forward to our future