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Home : ITU Council : Session 2008 : High Level Segment

High-Level Segment (HLS) of Council 2008

Geneva, 12-13 November 2008

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  Climate Change
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HLS 2008 Sessions on Climate Change

Photo: Green world globe




  • Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play a critical role in combating climate change through mitigation of its effects and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • The growing use of ICTs contributes to global warming, for example, the many billions of mobile phones, often left to charge overnight.

  • ICTs are also a key part of the solution, in monitoring, mitigating and adapting to climate change.

  • The work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 70 per cent since 1970.

  • Background information on Climate Change and ICTs...

Session 1, 12 November, 11:15-12:30
Combating Climate Change through ICTs

This session will provide an overview of the role of ICTs in the wider context of the efforts by developed countries to implement the Kyoto Protocol and by all countries to commit to more ambitious reductions as part of the Bali Action Plan and negotiations under the UNFCCC.

Climate change is a concern for all humanity and requires efforts on the part of everyone, including the information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector. Although ICTs contribute an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share will grow as usage of ICTs expands at a faster rate than the general economy.

Although ICTs are part of the cause of global warming, they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. For example, to avoid travel, by using telecommunications to work at home and to participate in conferences.

ICTs also play a vital role in monitoring changes in the climate, helping to identify new weather patterns and the extent of global warming.


Session 4, 13 November, 09:30-10:45
Adapting to Climate Change: The Role of Emergency Telecommunications

This session will look at how ICTs can help in adapting to the new environmental challenges.

Global climate change, including the rising sea level, combined with rapid global population growth and urbanization have contributed to an increase in the severity and the number of natural and man-made disasters.

ICTs such as wireless and satellite communication systems, remote sensing systems and satellite imaging can make a vital difference, allowing warnings to be sent of impending disasters. In the first crucial hours and days after a disaster they allow the identification of its extent, the location of survivors, and permit humanitarian teams to communicate effectively, including with local hospitals and paramedics.


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Updated : 2008-11-28