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ICT-day at the 2011 United Nations Conference for Climate Change
Durban, South Africa 1 December 2011
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 change.

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.


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Updated : 2011-12-01