It is a great pleasure to add my welcome to you to the ICT-day at the 2011
United Nations Conference for Climate Change.
I would like to thank very much the UNFCCC Secretariat for hosting this event,
and TechAmerica for organising it and inviting ITU to participate. I would also
like to thanks the government of South Africa for is support.
I am at the ITU headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, and I know we have many
people participating in this event from around the world. This in itself is a
great example of how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can
contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
ITU, together with a coalition of partners, will continue to raise awareness
about the significant role that ICTs can play in helping countries to adapt to
and mitigate the effects of climate change, in line with the Bali Roadmap and
the Cancun Agreements.
Organizations in the coalition include: ITU; GeSI; UNFCCC Secretariat; UN Global
Compact; and of course TechAmerica; as well as high-level representatives from
the governments of Ghana, South Africa and Egypt.
The coalition’s message is simple: ICTs must be part of the solution to climate
Over these two weeks in Durban, global leaders and decision-makers are working
together to agree on a balanced package of decisions that will enable the full,
effective and sustained implementation of the convention.
In this regard, we hope that the delegates that are setting up the
implementation of: the Green Climate Fund; the Technology Mechanism; the
Adaptation Framework; and the Registry will take into consideration ICTs as the
21st century’s most valuable problem-solving tool.
There are many ways to tackle climate change, but there are few tools that
provide the same potential as ICTs. ICTs connect the world, they are an
essential aid in sustainable development, they are key in monitoring the global
environment, and they can be used to spread information to even the remotest
parts of our world.
Some of the potential of ICTs has been realised, but there are countless more
ways in which ICTs could be put to use in our battle against climate change.
Today in this event we will be focusing on topics including monitoring the
environment, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
So let us make the most of this opportunity, with so many leading experts from
around the world, to show that the application of ICTs will be essential to
achieve the required reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and address the so
called “gigatonne gap”.
COP17 must recognise the significant role ICTs can play in cutting emissions
across all industry sectors, especially: energy generation; buildings;
transportation; and waste management.
Our aim is to have specific mention of ICTs in the outcome of Durban, in areas
such as the implementation of the Technology mechanism, where ICTs will have an
important role to play, or by defining a specific window of financing for ICT
projects related with climate technologies.
The conference in Durban is an excellent opportunity for the ICT community to
show its potential in the fight against Climate Change.
I wish you a very enjoyable and productive ICT day.
Thank you for your attention I will now hand you over to my friend and colleague
Vadim who will provide more information on ITU’s role.