International Telecommunication Union   ITU
عربي  |  中文  |  Espa˝ol  |  Franšais  |  Русский
 Advanced Search Advanced Search Site Map Contact us Print Version
Home : ITU-T Home
ICT4EE Forum
Brussels, Belgium 23 February 2010
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 countries.

ITU standards are therefore truly global, open standards, unlike those of many other standards bodies, forums or consortia that claim to produce global and open standards.

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 year.

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 play.

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 collaboration.


Top - Feedback - Contact Us -  Copyright ę ITU 2010 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page : TSB EDH
Updated : 2010-02-24