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 Thursday, January 19, 2012
ICTs and climate change: ITU’s highlights in 2011

Last year was an event filled year with regards to ITU’s climate change activities. Here is a rundown of the 6 top stories of 2011. Click on each heading to find out more about each activity:

1.The 6th ITU symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change
ITU organized the Sixth Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change in Accra (Ghana), on 7-8 July. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Communications (MOC) of Ghana and brought together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts among others.

2.ITU Green Standards Week
From 5 to 9 September in Rome (Italy) ITU organized its first Green Standards Week. The focus of the event was to raise awareness of the importance of using ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. A High-Level Segment provided Ministers and senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help in the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to Durban (COP-17) and in preparation for Rio +20 summit.

3.Study Group 5, Universal Charger made greener/leaner
ITU’s one-size fits all universal charging solution was further improved to maximize the benefits for end users by extending its use to a wider variety of devices and making it even more energy efficient. The standard now also allows the charger cable to be used for data transfer, avoiding an unnecessary duplicate cables and thus further reducing costs and e-waste.

4.ITU Green Application Challenge
Throughout 2011 organized the Green ICT Application Challenge, a global competition for developers, aimed at finding the best and most innovative idea for a climate change focused application (app). The winner of the competition, Ms. Lis Lugo Colls from Spain, received a USD 10,000 prize for her app concept “Smart Recycling”. This application helps mobile phone users locate recycling and garbage bins in their area, and aims to contribute to the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by waste.

Click here to read our series of interviews with the winner and shortlisted developers

5.ITU participation at COP-17, Outcomes of conference
ITU participated in the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-17) held in Durban (South Africa) in December. The ITU delegation actively promoted the potential of ICTs as a solution to move the negotiations forward and address the challenges of climate change. Key activities held by ITU included the co-organization of the ICT Day at COP17 (held in collaboration with the members of the Coalition on ICT and Climate Change), the organization of an exhibit during the conference and the launch of a special edition of ITU News. Through these activities ITU has continued to contribute to the effort undertaken by the global community to address climate change.

6.WSIS forum 2011, E-environment day. Go smart, move green
At WSIS Forum 2011, held in in Geneva, in May 2011, ITU, together with the Basel Convention, UNEP and WMO organized an E-environment day. The event comprised workshops, interactive discussions, publication releases and networking sessions where multiple environmental issues were debated. The discussions focused on topics such as climate monitoring; adaptation to climate change; making better use of natural resources; and recycling and disposing of end-of-life ICT equipment in an environmentally sound manner.

Find out about these and other stories in our new site Highlights from 2011. To stay connected to ITU's activities on ICTs and climate change you can choose one of the following options:

ITU is moving the climate change agenda forward.