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ITU Green Standards Week
Rome, Italy 5 - 9 September 2011
I am pleased to welcome you to this first event of the week, the first “ITU Green Standards Week”: a joint ITU and European Commission workshop on methodologies for assessing the environmental impact of ICTs. Since the event is being webcast, I also welcome our remote participants.

On behalf of the ITU, I would like to express my gratitude to Telecom Italia, our hosts, and to our sponsors; Huawei, RIM, Alcatel Lucent, Cisco and Microsoft.

The ITU Green Standards Week is organized by ITU in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and I would like to thank the Ministry for its tremendous support and hospitality. The week aims to further develop ITU’s involvement in the Climate Change debate – an involvement dating back to shortly before the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Bali.

This week deals specifically with standards, policies and best practices that can be put in place to green our society. Standards are the sometimes forgotten, but all-important building blocks of our modern, technological society.

The link between ICT standards, upon which our connected world relies on so much, and sustainability, may not be obvious. But standards are essential tools in the pursuit of increased resource efficiency; whether in the ICT sector itself, or in other industry sectors.

The ICT sector now has a fairly widely acknowledged role to play in improving energy efficiency in several sectors, mainly in the transport sector (for example through the use of intelligent transport systems), the energy sector (through the deployment of smart grids) and manufacturing (through the dematerialization of products).

And the pursuit of more energy efficient ICTs themselves is clearly essential if we are to achieve our goal of a cleaner, more sustainable economy.

Unfortunately, estimates of how much ICTs can reduce global emissions, and estimates of the emissions from the ICT sector itself, vary widely due to the different methodologies being applied.

This problem was highlighted at ITU’s first symposium on ICTs and Climate Change held in Kyoto in 2008. It was recognized that if there was to be any credibility to these claims, it was essential that a single globally agreed methodology needed to be developed. ITU took on this challenge. It has been a difficult task but I am pleased to say the first in a set of standards has now been approved, and the complete set of standards is on course for adoption before the end of this year.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the European Commission, in particular Colette Maloney and her team, for its contribution to, and support for, the work of our ITU-T Study Group 5 – our Environment and Climate Change study group - which is developing these methodologies.

Today we will examine the work underway in ITU, in collaboration with other standardization organizations and industry. ITU is the best arena for this work to take place, assembling as it does leading experts from both the public and private sectors, and promoting the essential collaboration between industry, governments and regulators worldwide.

I look forward to a strong consensus on the way forward and to welcome you all to further collaborate on this important area of work in the forthcoming months.

Thank you and I wish you a successful and enjoyable day.

 

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Updated : 2011-09-27