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 Wednesday, 13 April 2011
New ITU report highlights the role of regulators addressing climate change through green ICTs

ITU has released the 11th edition of its flagship ICT regulatory report Trends in Telecommunication Reform which takes an in-depth look at one of the most significant social trends of the past decade: the increasingly pervasive presence of ICTs in virtually every facet of modern life. The report highlights the importance of effective regulations in order to increase the benefits that ICTs can introduce in other sectors, as well as their positive contribution to economic growth. The report further highlights the changing/expanding role of regulators getting engaged in non-traditional areas of regulatory intervention such as climate change.

Chapter 7 of the report is dedicated to showcasing one of the above co-benefits: the potential of ICTs to address the causes and effects of climate change. Like every other industry, ICTs contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, they are also uniquely positioned to enable the reduction of emissions through ‘smart’ energy management systems. The report recognizes the fact that no discussion of climate change is complete without close examination of the role of ICTs in creating, managing, and resolving the issue. Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, states: “Because ICTs touch all aspects of society, when setting sound policies and regulation the link between ICTs and major social issues like climate change, economic growth and digital lifestyles has to be taken into account”.

Aspects highlighted in this section of the report include whether ICT regulators, particularly those in charge of regulating telecommunications service providers (TSPs), should have a more active role in promoting environmental protection and consider climate change issues when defining new regulations. The chapter also considers sector-specific regulatory interventions aimed at cutting GHG emissions from TSPs as well as facilitating the ability of TSPs to reduce emissions from other industry sectors.

Interested in reading the full report? You can now purchase the full report at the ITU bookstore:

More about ITU’s activities on climate change: