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 Thursday, May 10, 2012
E-environment at WSIS Forum 2012 - Advancing The Sustainable Development Agenda Through ICTs

Highlight Of Activities On Environment Protection During WSIS Forum 2012

WSIS Forum 2012 will be held in Geneva, Switzerland at the ILO Conference Center on 14-18 May 2012. The forum will provide a structured opportunity to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations, addressing the issues raised by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Included in this one-week event will be four sessions focusing on the role of ICTs as a basic infrastructure that can assist in the transition towards a low-carbon ‘information society’. These sessions will explore the opportunities provided by technologies to move forward the sustainable development agenda.

Highlight of the main sessions

Tuesday, 15 May
High level debate - Advancing the Green ICT Agenda (14h-16h, Room IX) is a high level dialogue that will look at the role of ICTs as an enabler for sustainable development and the associated environmental challenges and opportunities related with the global uptake of ICTs. Aspects to be discussed in the session will include the use of ICTs to monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate change and improve resource efficiency, and the impacts of e-waste. Participants of this high level debate will include high level officials from government, business sector and international organization, who will share their vision and experience on the role of partnerships, policies, regulations and standards for advancing sustainable development through Green ICTs.

Wednesday, 16 May
Workshop 1 - E-waste: challenges, solutions and benefits (9h-10h45, Room IX). The consumption of electrical and electronic equipment is increasing rapidly throughout the globe with the fast uptake of ICTs, leading to corresponding increases in volume of electronic waste (e-waste). In developing countries high volumes of e-waste, in combination with absent or poor environmentally sound management systems, have manifold impacts on the environment, local communities and the economic systems. This session will provide an overview of the best practices on policies, regulations and standards for improving e-waste management. Panelists will discussion how e-waste poses environmental and health challenges, but also provides economic opportunities.

Workshop 2 - Climate Change Monitoring and Disaster Risk Reduction (11h-12h45, Room IX). This session which will look at the critical role that ICTs play in climate change monitoring and disaster preparation, response and recovery. The collection and use of accurate climate change data allows for forecasting, mitigating and adapting to climate change and extreme weather events. Early warning systems, monitoring infrastructure and remote sensing can save lives by improving and making more efficient responses to disasters and quickly disseminating information. Panelists will provide an overview of best practices and share case studies on projects using ICTs as a tool to monitor, prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Action line facilitation meeting - Revisiting E-Environment @ WSIS Roundtable Discussion (16h15 – 18h, Room VI). This dynamic roundtable discussion will share lessons learned by all stakeholders from implementing programmes, initiatives and public policies related to the use of ICTs for environmental protection, and look at new elements and considerations that could be recommended in the WSIS+10 review. The outcomes will be shared at other major UN conferences and summits, including Rio+20.  

Find attached the main program of the event.

Register now at www.wsis.org/forum, where you will find updated information about the event.

Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:02:50 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 16, 2012
Program announced for 7th ITU symposium on ICTs, the environment and climate change  

The Seventh ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change will take place on 29-31 May 2012 in Montreal, Canada.  The event, which is co-organized with the government of Canada, will be hosted by Prompt and will bring together leading specialists in the field, from policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. The event aims to continue to move the Climate Change agenda forward on using ICTs to monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects and, in this light, identify future requirements for ITU’s related work – including standardization of ICT equipment and networks as well as development activities.

Taking place over three days, the Montreal symposium will include sessions on the green ICT opportunity; ITU methodologies for the environmental impact assessment of the ICT Sector; greening ICT infrastructures; greening through ICT;  e-waste; radio communications to monitor the climate and how ICTs can help countries to adapt to the effects of climate change emergency telecommunications for public protection. Speakers will include representatives from the Government of Canada, ITU, UNFCCC, Greenpeace, Alcatel Lucent, France Telecom, Telefonica, Intel, and Microsoft among others.

One of the main outputs of the symposium will be to define a set of possible goals, commitments and modalities for the ICT sector in the lead up to the 2012 ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly and United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The purpose is to strengthen the collaboration between the ICT sector and environmental communities.  

Click here to get additional information about the symposium, including information about registration and an updated program of the event.  

Find more about ITU’s activities on climate change at www.itu.int/climate

Monday, April 16, 2012 9:07:23 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Broadband can lead the transformation to a green economy. New report from the Broadband Commission

The Broadband Bridge: Linking ICT with Climate Action for a Low Carbon Economy, highlights ten recommendations to leverage the opportunities that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can provide to accelerate global progress towards a low-carbon economy. The report, which is the result of work conducted by the Broadband Commission Working Group on Climate Change, chaired by Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, is being released on 2 April 2012 in Orhid, Macedonia at the 5th meeting of the Commission.

This report emphasizes the kind of transformative solutions that are enabled by broadband and provides practical examples of how broadband can contribute to reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs), mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and promoting resource efficiency. The report concludes with ten recommendations for policy makers and global leaders to hasten and strengthen the ability of ICT and broadband to accelerate global progress towards the low-carbon economy.

The full report and further information can be found at: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/work/working-groups/climate-change.aspx

About the Broadband Commission

The Broadband Commission for Digital Development is an initiative set up by ITU and UNESCO in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to step up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Commission was established in May 2010, five years after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and ten years after the launch of the MDGs. The Commission aims to boost the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and believes that expanding broadband access in every country is key to accelerating progress towards these goals by the target date of 2015. It defines practical ways in which countries — at all stages of development — can achieve this, in cooperation with the private sector.  

The Commission comprises a high-powered community, including top CEO and industry leaders, senior policy-makers and government representatives, international agencies, academia and organizations concerned with development. Leaders in their field, they each believe strongly in a future based on broadband and offer rich insights and experience in how to deploy and use broadband networks and services to the benefit of communities and end-users. The Commission embraces a range of different perspectives in a multi-stakeholder approach to promoting the roll-out of broadband, as well as providing a fresh approach to UN and business engagement.  

 For more information on the Broadband Commission, visit: www.broadbandcommission.org

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:46:43 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 13, 2012
100 days to Rio+20: the role of ICTs in “The Future We Want”

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in exactly 100 days. This global event will mark the 20 year anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, the event that raised sustainability to the top of the global agenda, and which set up several of the most relevant international agreements to combat some of the most pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change, desertification and the loss of biodiversity.

From 20 to 22 June 2012 Rio+20 will be in the spotlight, while more than 100 heads of states work together under the theme “The future we want” to renew political commitment towards sustainability and poverty eradication, looking for solutions and initiatives that can help to bring closer together the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental.

In this context, ITU is engaging country delegations, the private sector and the UN system to highlight one of the major opportunities of our generation to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development: the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

ICTs, such as the Internet, mobile phones and satellite, provide innovative applications that create jobs, improve access to basic services (such as health or education), reduce resource consumption (in particular energy consumption) and empower communities through improved access to information and collaboration. Put it simply ICTs help reinforce, converge and integrate all three pillars of sustainable development, and they also support and facilitate attainment of its fundamental underlying principles of efficiency, effectiveness and equity. As our global community moves towards an information society, ICTs have become cross-cutting enablers of a greener and fairer economy.

Visit www.itu.int/rioplus20 to find out more and get involved in ITU´s activities in the road to Rio+20

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:38:48 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 02, 2012
Introducing key outcomes from WRC-12 on climate monitoring, disaster relief and climate change

The 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) was brought to an end last week in Geneva with the adoption of a set of resolutions to revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.

WRC-12 addressed over 30 agenda items related to frequency allocation and frequency sharing for the efficient use of spectrum and orbital resources. The agreements reached at the conference will ensure high quality radiocommunication services for mobile and satellite communications, maritime and aeronautical transport as well as for scientific purposes related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, disaster prediction, mitigation and relief, among other services.

A key aspect addressed during the four-week conference was the importance of reserving frequencies for use in the very early stages of humanitarian assistance for disaster relief. The main achievement in this area was the promotion of new technologies, such as International mobile telecommunication (IMT) and intelligent transport systems (ITS) which both offer solutions for public protection through early warning systems, disaster mitigation and relief operations.

Along the same lines, WRC-12 instructed ITU to continue studying aspects of  radiocommunications that are relevant to early warning, disaster mitigation and relief operations and encouraged administrations to consider using identified frequency bands when undertaking their national planning to achieve regionally harmonized frequency bands or ranges for public protection and disaster relief solutions.

With regards to climate change, WRC-12 recognized that the understanding of climate monitoring  is a prerequisite to any action designed to anticipate and mitigate the human induced phenomenon. The conference approved the allocation of more bandwidth to meteorological-satellite services, and updated spectrum use for the monitoring of water vapour and oxygen spectral lines needed for measurements of global water and carbon cycles. These outcomes guarantee that climate scientists can continue to rely on effective systems for monitoring the environment and predicting climate change, and to ensure the reliable operation of such systems.

While WRC-12 focused on the solutions to be implemented by the sector, the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12) -an event held back-to-back with WRC-12- dealt with the sustainability of the ICT sector. On this regard, the Assembly adopted a new resolution instructing ITU to develop a number of recommendations, reports or handbooks to address and ultimately reduce energy consumption within ICT systems and to further investigate the possibilities offered by radio systems or applications to reduce energy consumption in non-radiocommunication sectors.

These outcomes reinforced ITU’s mandate in the area of sustainability, climate change and emergency communications, and secured the availability of spectrum and satellite orbit for the operation of radiosystems intended for monitoring the environment and monitoring and predicting climate change.


Further information:

Related news:

Friday, March 02, 2012 11:26:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:37:08 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 16, 2011
ITU joins the UN System to provide its perspectives on a Green Economy

Against a backdrop of the multiple crises of the past four years -- financial, economic, food and energy -- the United Nations launched this week a report that offers UN agencies and its member states guidance for coordinating the transition to a Green Economy at the international and country levels.  

In the first-ever inter-agency report on the Green Economy, the Environment Management Group (EMG), representing the work of UN agencies, the Bretton Woods Institutions and other intergovernmental bodies outlines steps and policies for pursuing a green economic transformation that generates new sources of sustainable and equitable economic growth that will assist in a global economic recovery.  

Such action will require investing in natural capital, clean-technologies, such as information and communication technologies (ICTs), as well as in in human and social capital, including education, health care, cultural development and social protection.    

The report, Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy, reflects a growing recognition of the shortcomings of business-as-usual practiced by both the public and private sector institutions over the last two decades and assesses how the UN system can coherently support countries in transitioning to a Green Economy. The report highlights the need for more integrated approaches between different international agencies and government departments, as well as more targeted investments across the environmental, economic and social domains.  

Urging both agencies and governments to use the forthcoming 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20 Summit) to turn their commitments into reality, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said:   

“United Nations entities are keenly aware of the resource challenges that countries face in meeting the needs of a growing and urbanizing world population. The human and economic toll of natural disasters and the volatility of commodity prices reflect worrying trends in global climate change, the growing scarcity of some natural resources and the decline of many ecosystems.   

“This report highlights how these challenges can and must be addressed as part of integrated development models that focus on poverty and human well-being.”  

The report promotes a UN system-wide understanding of the Green Economy approach to achieve sustainable development and offers a range of instruments that governments can use to impact investment choices and consumer behavior.  These include mobilizing financial resources, full cost pricing, regulatory instruments, sustainable trade and green markets, innovation and technology, and indicators for measuring progress towards transition.    

The report calls specifically for public spending to target green infrastructure and research and development that can spur green technologies and innovation, as well as better health care and education. In addition, governments need to align their laws, regulations, green standards, taxes, labeling and reporting requirements to reinforce the incentives for the private sector to direct their finance and investments towards green, responsible business and a Green Economy.  

The report notes numerous UN-backed initiatives, including ITU’s activities to promote green ICT standards, the use of radio-communications for earth observation, or specific initiatives to develop innovative applications that promote the transition to a green economy, such as the ITU Green ICT Application Challenge. These contributions will be instrumental in the preparation of the Rio+20 conference.  

Click here to access the full version of the report free of charge. Find more about ITU’s activities on climate change and environment protection at www.itu.int/climate  

Background information

Rio Earth Summit: In 1992 the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly known as the Rio Earth Summit, was convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to address the state of the environment and sustainable development. In June 2012, there will be the follow up meeting or Rio+20 in Brazil, where one of the main themes governments are expected to address is Green Economy “in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”.  

The Environment Management Group (EMG) is a UN coordination body consisted of the specialized agencies, programmes and organs of the United Nations including the secretariats of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements. It furthers inter-agency cooperation in support of the implementation of the international environmental and human settlement agenda. www.unemg.org. ITU is an active member of the EMG.

Friday, December 16, 2011 12:15:05 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 15, 2011
ITU Green App Challenge - Meet the WINNER! - Interview with Ms Lis Lugo Colls

The first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, supported by RIM and Telefonica, sought to uncover innovative concept papers for climate change related ICT applications. ITU announced the Challenge’s winner and papers deserving special mention at the Green Standards Week held in Rome, 5-9 September 2011.

The Challenge’s Winner, Ms. Lis Lugo Colls from Spain, developed a concept for an application entitled “Smart Recycling.” This innovative application helps mobile 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. The application will benefit citizens, government recycling programs and private recycling companies by creating a more sustainable and resource-efficient future through community engagement and eco-design.

We approached Lis to discuss the inspiration for her concept and her experience with the challenge. Here is what she had to say.

[Question] Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

[Answer] I am a 27 year-old woman with a strong passion for life and our planet. My view is that a strong work ethic leads to a high quality of life, and so I believe in working hard to get what you want. I was born in Venezuela, but have since lived in several countries. This has given me a broad cultural vision of how the world works. At the same time, I have dedicated my life to computers and technology, and studied Systems Engineering with a specialization in ICT Management and e-Business. I am currently taking a masters degree and working for a telecommunication company in Spain, where I have lived for the past 2 years. I have been working on city automation, with projects related to Smart Metering, Machine-to-Machine, Smart Cities, and Data Grids, and this has proven an incredible opportunity to combine my knowledge of computers, technology and telecommunication.

[Q] How did you find out about the ITU Green ICT Application Challenge?

Every day I spend some time reading the news, and have found that social networks are very useful tools in following companies, groups or people that interest you. To keep up-to-date on telecommunication and energy efficiency standards, I have been following @ITU_News on twitter and Telefonica’s “RC and sustainability” blog. This is where I found out about the challenge.

[Q] Why did you decide to take part in the challenge?

I have had many innovative ideas, most with a focus on increasing social welfare. Often these ideas remain as dreams, because becoming a social entrepreneur is far from simple. When I heard of the challenge, I thought it a perfect opportunity to test one of these socially-oriented ideas, and improving recycling systems really appealed to me. My idea also fitted the challenge’s goals very well, and this secured my motivation to enter. Only after entering did some real work and frustration come. Turning an idea into a real, feasible concept takes months of long working hours and no shortage of courage. This is the first competition I have entered, and at times I did question why I was putting so much time and effort into something with such an uncertain result. But, as the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs’ mantra goes, “don’t be afraid to fail, because the more times you fail, the closer you are to success.”

[Q] Have you developed an app before or was this experience new to you?

I have been  developing software and websites since I was young, and I wanted to step up to smartphone application development. It is not a drastic change as the programming logic is the same, but its methodologies and tools have evolved in a way that makes the task of developing apps easier and more intuitive.

[Q] Was the application that you presented something you’ve been working on for a long time or did you develop the app for this challenge?

I had the idea many months before the challenge appeared. It was therefore a great boost to hear about the challenge, as it was a perfect opportunity to turn the idea into a reality.

[Q] What was your biggest challenge when designing the application?

The biggest challenge was to create a smartphone application that would be useful to citizens, and require only minimal technological know-how to use. Behind these easy-to-use applications there is a great infrastructure that integrates high-technology tools like databases, geo-positioning, RSS feeds, and so on. It is a big challenge for a computer scientist to understand the issues of usability and user-centered design.

[Q] What was your motivation behind developing an app to combat climate change/promote sustainability?

Everyone should be committed to caring for the environment and reducing climate change – these are global issues. We take for granted the resources we use, and live in a consumer-oriented society where people buy, consume and dispose of goods carelessly. Sustainability should be a goal to all human-beings, and I believe recycling is a way for individuals to contribute meaningfully to the environment.

[Q] Where did your inspiration for this application come from?

I was born in Venezuela, a developing country without national recycling policies. When you are aware of the  world’s environmental problems, this causes a feeling of helplessness. When I came to live in Europe, I became curious as to how municipal solid waste was treated, how the system was implemented and how people worked together to help the system. This is how I came up with the idea of building a tool that could reach individual citizens, helping them better recycle their waste. Smartphones are widespread and the Internet is accessible to everyone, so I believed my app could even help create awareness about recycling in countries without national recycling policies.

[Q] What other activities are you involved in to help fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability?

I have assembled a group of motivated entrepreneurs with different skills to work on this subject of Smart Applications for the City. We are working on a web site called www.smartapps.es, which will provide information on sustainability applications. We are currently working on the Smart Recycling application but, at the same time, we are connecting with more communities and people interested in these issues.

[Q] What do you expect from this application in the future? Are you planning to further develop it?

This application’s objective is to create a technological platform merging the recycling efforts of citizens, recycling centers and local waste collection systems. With local people’s help, this application could be available to several countries in the coming year.

[Q] What is your advice to developers wishing to create apps to help combat climate change/promote sustainability?

You don’t need to be a genius or invent the wheel! You need only be altruistic, and think in big actions to improve society’s systems and help planet earth.

[Q] Any last thoughts?

Thanks to the sponsors for supporting this challenge. I believe private enterprises and industries should be the first to fulfill social responsibility initiatives, and this competition is a fine example of what can be achieved when they do.

To find out more about Ms. Colls and her activities, contact her via ITU by sending an email to climate@itu.int. Meet the rest of the winners and relive the ITU Green Application Challenge by accessing http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/index.html. This interview was featured in the recent special edition of ITU News "Climate change, green technology, greener plannet". Click here to access an edited version of this interview.

For more information about the ITU’s activities on climate change visit www.itu.int/climate.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011 12:14:25 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2011
COP17 closes with agreements on second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and on the next steps for the negotiations

At the end of an intense two weeks in Durban, South Africa, the UNFCCC has announced that the countries meeting at the 2011 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP17/CMP7) have delivered a breakthrough, on the future of the response from the international community to causes and effects of climate change. The package of decisions adopted by the conference include the following key outcomes:

  • Definition of a road map for the adoption of a new universal legal agreement on climate change to be adopted as soon as possible, but not later than 2015, and that should enter into force by 2020;
  • Agreement on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force on January 1, 2013. Parties to this second period, which includes 35 industrialized countries, will turn their economy-wide targets into quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives and submit them for review by May 2012;
  • Agreement on an advanced framework for the reporting of emission reductions for both developed and developing countries;
  • Decisions on the full implementation of several of the Cancun agreements, including the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, the Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee.
Whilst governments have pledged to make progress in these areas, it is acknowledged with urgent concern that the current sum of pledges to cut emissions both from developed and developing countries is not high enough to keep the global average temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.

Alongside the negotiations that took place in the main arena, the ITU delegation at the conference 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. The next milestone in the negotiations will be the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP18), to take place in Qatar in December 2012.

Find more about ITU´s activities con climate change on www.itu.int/climate.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:28:35 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Special Issue of ITU News Magazine on ICTs and Climate Change Released at COP17/CMP7

ITU News magazine has just published its November 2011 issue, dedicated to ICTs, climate change and green ICTs. Published with the theme “Tackling climate change: Green technology, greener planet”, this special issue of ITU News presents an update on the progress achieved by ITU and the ICT sector in promoting the use of ICTs as an enabler of sustainable development and a solution to climate change.

The articles in this special issue cover a broad range of topics, from initiatives on the use of ICTs to the transition to a low-carbon economy and to the approval of the new ITU standardized methodologies to assess the environmental impacts of ICTs. The special issue features a foreword from Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Secretariat, on the role of ICTs in the UNFCCC process. It also features representatives from the private sector including Kevin Tao of Huawei Europe and Ray Pinto of TechAmerica Europe on the industry’s commitment to act on climate change through technology.

The issue also features contributions by ITU staff and Study Group 5 members. Read the special issue online at https://itunews.itu.int/en/.

ITU News is the official communication channel between ITU and its membership. Issued ten times a year, ITU News provides an up-to-date view of the Union’s activities and global events, as well as the ICT environment that they help to shape.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 3:26:29 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 01, 2011
Joint the ICT DAY at the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference

1 December 2011 will be the “ICT Day” at the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference in South Africa (COP-17). Hosted by the UNFCCC, and organized by the Coalition on ICTs and Climate Change (an initiative originated by ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative), the “ICT day @ COP17 will feature side events on the role of ICTs as a transformative solution to move the climate change agenda forward.

Activities on the day include a side event on ICTs and adaptation, organized by the UNFCCC, a side event on the role of ICTs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, organized by TechAmerica Europe and a full day of webconferences on climate-related ICT applications, featured at the Digital Media Lounge of the conference.

Participants in these activities will include among others, representatives from the public sector, including the participation of the South African Minister of Communications, representatives from private sector organizations, such as Microsoft, Deutsche Telecom, INTEL or France Telecom, as well as high-level officials of key international organizations, such as the UNFCCC secretariat of ITU.

The “ICT Day” will be opened at 13:00 (Durban time) by H.E. Dina Pule, Minister of Communications of South Africa and by Mr Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU Standardization Bureau.

If you are on-site in Durban please join us at these events in the Digital Media lounge and the Hex River side event room. Follow also the event remotely by following these instructions:

  • Go to https://cop17.webex.com
  • Enter your name and email address
  • Enter the meeting password: TechAmerica
  • Click “Join Now”. 
  • Meeting Number: 841 748 360
Find additional information about the event, including how to join remotely at www.itu.int/climate. Move the climate change agenda forward with us.

Thursday, December 01, 2011 11:35:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 25, 2011
ITU Green App Challenge - Meet the developers! (#4) - Interview with Mr Praneel Raja

The first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge sought to uncover  innovative concept papers for climate change related ICT applications. ITU announced the Challenge’s winner and papers deserving special mention at the Green Standards Week held in Rome, 5-9 September 2011. The event was supported by BlackBerrry and Telefonica.

One of the challenge’s finalists, Mr. Praneel Raja from India, developed a concept for an application entitled, “Mobile App to Use a Vehicle to its Fullest Capacity.” The goal of this mobile application is to improve efficiency in the transportation sector by making sure that vehicles are used to their full capacity. The app provides a forum where users can request a ride in a vehicle with vacancy, travelling the same route as the driver. The overall result of the application would be a reduction of GHG emission by decreasing the number of vehicles on the road. 

We approached Praneel to discuss the inspiration for his concept and his experience with the challenge. Here is what he had to say.

[Question] Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am a student at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, pursuing a post-graduate degree in Computer Science.

[Q] How did you find out about the ITU Green ICT Application Challenge?

I came to know about it when the Research Affairs Secretary of our institute forwarded the email about the challenge to the institute’s students.

[Q] Why did you decide to take part in the challenge?

I have always been interested in issues related to climate change. The contest was also during my summer vacation, which gave me the time I needed to begin developing my application.

[Q] Have you developed an app before or was this experience new to you?

No, it is the first time I have done anything like this.

[Q] Was the application that you presented something you’ve been working on for a long time or did you develop the app for this challenge?

This app had been an idea of mine for some time. This is however the first time I’ve taken action and brought all the pieces together to create a functional, useful app.

[Q] How did the development of the app take place?

I am developing the app as a part of my Course Project in IIT Madras.

[Q] What was your biggest challenge when designing the application?

The safety and security of the app’s users was definitely the biggest challenge in its design. Without trustworthy safety mechanisms, people would be reluctant to use the service.

[Q] What was your motivation behind developing an app to combat climate change/promote sustainability?

The motivation was to help build a transport system where people could get from A to B carrying only their mobile phones. Where did your inspiration for this application come from? I have noticed that most vehicles on the road are more than half-empty. More efficient use of the world’s vehicles could both increase the number of people able to access automobile transport and reduce the number of cars on the road. This is a win-win scenario for social welfare, as access to transport rises while carbon emissions decline.

[Q] What other activities are you involved in to help fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability?

I am an ambassador for S-NET (Sustainable Network development), a student initiative at the institute, and I am responsible for promoting sustainable development on the institute’s campus.

[Q] What do you expect from this application in the future? Are you planning to further develop it?

Yes, I plan to develop it further. I think this app has great potential and I would like it to become a viable, trustworthy transport alternative.

[Q] What is your advice to developers wishing to create apps to help combat climate change/promote sustainability?

y advice is to be as practical as possible – make sure that the solution is actionable, and that it can be of real value to the majority of the population.

To find out more about Mr. Raja and his activities, contact him via ITU by sending an email to climate@itu.int. Meet the rest of the winners and relive the ITU Green Application Challenge by accessing http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/index.html.

For more information about the ITU’s activities on climate change visit www.itu.int/climate.

Friday, November 25, 2011 2:49:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 15, 2011
ITU’s submission to the Rio+20 compilation document: ICTs are Major Cross-cutting Drivers of Sustainable Development

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012 or Rio+20) is taking place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), in Johannesburg.

It is envisioned that Rio+20 Conference will result in a focused political document, while the process strives to embrace and bring together the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. The conference will also address implementation, emerging challenges, as well as new opportunities for accelerating the transition towards sustainable development pathways.

ITU has promptly submitted its input for the compilation document to serve as basis for the preparation of a zero draft of the outcome document of the conference. Through its submission, ITU comments on the progress to date, underlines the potential key role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the transition to a greener and fairer development model, and shares its expectations for the outcomes of the Conference and the future sustainable development agenda. 

Drawing lessons from the outcomes of the major conferences on sustainable development, ITU notes the need for concrete and measurable targets to be defined at the Rio+20 Summit. In addition, ITU emphasizes the need  for greater coordination of actions at all levels, and deeper integration of policies, in particular cross-sectoral national strategies.

With regards to the theme of the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, ITU highlights the transformational potential and positive impact of ICTs in multiple areas such as measuring and monitoring;  regulations and standards; capacity building and technology access; engagement of industry and ICT sector; communication dynamics; and social dimension dynamics. 

ICTs are a unique cost-effective, environmentally friendly and inclusive instrument to spur green growth and create jobs, promote social progress and the MDGs, and ensure environmental protection and a sustainable future. Thus, ITU reiterates that ICTs should be recognized as one of the major cross-cutting drivers of sustainable development. ICTs help reinforce, converge and integrate all three pillars of sustainable development, and they also support and facilitate attainment of its fundamental underlying principles of efficiency, effectiveness and equity.  

Among concrete outcomes expected from the Conference, ITU supports the development of a Roadmap, a conceptual and action-oriented framework setting specific goals and a set of “green economy” tools to achieve them. ITU advocates for inclusion in the text of two such Sustainable Development Goals relating to ICTs: (a) ICTs as key vehicles and basic infrastructure driving the transition to green economy and sustainable development patterns, to reflect their new multifold role and potential as described above; (b) Access to ICTs and to broadband, as a goal itself with direct impact on other basic services and sectors.  

ITU believes the time is right to make the best use of all the opportunities at our hands to move together the sustainable development agenda forward, with and through ICTs. You may access the full text of ITU’s input to the compilation document for the Rio+20 Conference here.

For more information on the work of ITU in relation to the themes of the Conference please click here.

For more information on the Rio+20 Conference, please click here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:07:01 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 10, 2011
ITU Green App Challenge - Meet the developers! (#3) - Interview with Ms. Maria Dolores Rodriguez De Azero

The first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, supported by RIM and Telefonica, sought to uncover innovative concept papers for climate change related ICT applications. ITU announced the Challenge’s winner and papers deserving special mention at the Green Standards Week held in Rome, 5-9 September 2011.

One of the challenge’s finalists, Ms. Maria Dolores Rodriguez De Azero from Spain, developed a concept for an application entitled, “Effi-e Play Green.” This application aims to reduce GHG emissions in the tourist industry by monitoring energy and water consumption in hotels. Through the app, “Effi-e Play Green” promotes sustainable behavior throughout hotels, offering rewards to sustainable customers through eco-points. We approached Maria Dolores to discuss the inspiration for her concept and her experience with the challenge. Here is what she had to say.

[Question] Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am CEO of PUEBLOCHICO (www.pueblochico.com), a leisure park in La Orotava, a town in Tenerife. This park, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next July, reproduces in a 1:25 scale the most emblematic buildings on the island. In addition, the park offers walks in a garden setting with a great landscape, all below the mount Teide. A ride in PUEBLOCHICO educates our visitors on the Canary Islands’ history and customs, and also on its current situation from different perspectives.

In addition, I am the chairwoman of the IAMP (International Association of Miniature Parks). Finally, I am also the chairwoman of Turisfera (Tenerife Cluster Association of Tourism Innovation), a workspace composed of tourism businesses, public institutions, associations, and knowledge centers from all parts of the island. The aim of this cluster is to encourage and support innovative projects undertaken on the island. Alongside all this activity, I am a mother of four children, and so I am very busy!

[Q] How did you find about the Challenge, and why did you decide to take part?

Sustainability is one of Turisfera´s strategic lines of action. The Canary Islands will most likely be affected by climate change, so we are truly committed to working on solutions dealing with the causes and effects of environmental change. We are looking at developing the island’s tourism industry, while keeping a strong commitment to sustainable development and a respect for the  environment. 

Our first project to this effect was Effi-e Play Green, and it has become Turisfera’s flagship sustainability initiative. The Turisfera Management Team has worked incredibly hard in developing this project, to ensure it receives the credit it deserves. In this regard, I know that ITU is an organization actively promoting innovations and initiatives like this one. It was actually a member of the Board of Turisfera, someone deeply involved in sustainability issues, who told me about the ITU contest. We are really lucky to have a highly motivated team, with people that work very well together. As soon as we heard of the competition, we decided to take part. We strongly believe in the potential of Effi-e, and we saw this contest as an ideal platform to promote it.

[Q] Have you developed an app before or was this experience new to you?

Turisfera was launched last year and, as I have mentioned, Effi-e is the first project we have developed. We could not have started out better: not only is this project very exciting, but it has also been very well received by the sector as hotels’ efforts to improve their environmental management are made very visible to their guests. Indeed, Effi-e has turned out to be a more powerful communication tool than any environmental statement or sustainability report. In the development of Effi-e, Turisfera opted for collaboration with other companies and clusters; clusters such as RICAM (Cluster of Renewable Energy, Environment and Water Resources of the Canary Islands), Dobon Technologies, Proyectran, and Brandia - entities enriching the project with their experience. Although beginnings are always difficult, and even more so for such a young cluster, our experience has been both successful and very rewarding.

[Q] Was the application that you presented something you’ve been working on for a long time or did you develop the app for this challenge?

Turisfera conceived the Effi-e project a year ago. Since then, we have worked hard to turn the concept into a reality. The prototype is currently being tested at Hotel Tigaiga in Tenerife, a hotel  known worldwide for its environmental awareness. The special mention from ITU has been a finishing touch to our work, and we are very proud of this achievement.

[Q] How did the development of the app take place?  

 The project was reflected in our Strategic Plan. With the support of Tenerife’s local government, we obtained a grant to launch the project’s pilot phase through the TF Innova program.  

Effi-e’s main value is to demonstrate a hotel’s commitment to the environment by involving its guests. Guests are personally involved in caring for the environment in a friendly, positive, fun way that consequently improves their experience of the island. This technological tool provides real-time information about guests’ energy and water consumption, as well as possible actions they can take to reduce their environmental impact. The guest is then actively involved in the process of optimizing the use of natural resources. It is a fun, competitive process and their degrees of  environmental awareness are rewarded with bonuses (like discounts in leisure centers, donations to carbon offset programs or to environmental awareness projects, etc.).  

Moreover, Effi-e’s real-time energy and water consumption information is also received by a hotel’s management. This picture of a hotel’s load on the environment helps its management not only with environmental concerns, but also with cost-benefit analyses of new processes or procedures.

As I have mentioned, we sought the cooperation of other clusters and entities from the very beginning of the project. Right after Hotel Tigaiga showed its interest in participating,  RICAM cluster performed an environmental audit that included monitoring the hotel’s energy and water consumption. At the same time, Proyectran worked out the development of the technological applications, and Brandia took charge of graphic design and communication strategies for the project.

[Q] What was your biggest challenge when designing the application?

I must say that, besides the usual difficulties in a project´s development, our biggest challenge has been the sheer scale of the initiative. Effi-e is a project with great potential to heighten Tenerife’s reputation as a sustainable destination, truly committed to caring for the environment. It has been very hard to adapt the prototype to our limited budget, as our team is continually producing good ideas which make the project even bigger and more valuable.

[Q] What was your motivation behind developing an app to combat climate change/promote sustainability?

The environment and environmental management have become resources of great importance in attracting tourists. It is a highly-weighted factor in the decisions  of tourists considering Spanish destinations. However, compared to our direct competitors, we are not in the best position when it comes to environmental sustainability. This challenge is however not without complexity. Policies to combat climate change and new international energy scenarios may have important indirect impacts on the tourism sector. Energy is the basis of multiple tourism processes and products, especially in tourist mobility and HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning).

In this sense, the competitiveness and attractiveness of tourist destinations seem increasingly vulnerable to the greenhouse gas mitigation policies and rising energy prices. Therefore, stakeholders must anticipate the impacts on the tourism sector likely to be made by such GHG reduction policies.

In any case, we must share the responsibility. It is crucial that the tourism industry - transportation and accommodation industry, tour operators, travel agencies, and tourist guides - encourages the use of technologies and logistics procedures that minimize the industry’s impact on the environment. We thus encourage the use of renewable energy and sustainable mobility projects by providing technical assistance and tax incentives, and also develop communication campaigns to increase the environmental awareness of both local people and tourists.

[Q] Where did your inspiration for this application come from?

We realized that eco-efficiency improvements performed by hotels are usually seen simply as part of business management, and are not adequately communicated to the customer. We wanted to develop Effi-e as a tool that could communicate the real value of these hotels’ commitment to the environment.

[Q] What other activities are you involved in to help fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability?

My “green” commitment is reflected primarily in my private life. There are many examples of energy saving efforts, responsible consumption, reusing or recycling in my family environment. For me, an attitude of environmental awareness is of utmost importance to my family. Also, I participate in an investment company on a photovoltaic power plant of 14 MGW. In my opinion, this is one of the most promising future energy sources as it is clean, sustainable, and very successful in a place like Tenerife, where sunshine is guaranteed.

[Q] What do you expect from this application in the future? Are you planning to further develop it?

Yes, indeed. We have identified the possible weaknesses of the Effi-e prototype, and this has allowed us to better define our goal. At the moment, we are launching a second phase of development that includes all the  improvements made to the prototype. Effi-e aims to become a brand signifying eco-efficiency and responsible energy use, in many tourism-intensive regions. We hope to promote Effi-e with hotels yielding net zero carbon footprints, by working with a network of companies and their eco-conscious clients, proud to collaborate in the name of environmental preservation.  

[Q] What is your advice to developers wishing to create apps to help combat climate change/promote sustainability?  

I would suggest they opt for a cooperative work approach in the development of their apps, and that they never lose courage in pursuing their goals. Our future cannot be separated from the battle against climate change. It is essential that all contribute towards a greener society.

[Q] Any last thoughts?  

I just want to give my most sincere congratulations to ITU for the organization of this contest. I wish there were more initiatives like this one!

To find out more about Ms. Rodriguez De Azero and her activities in Turisfera, contact her via ITU by sending an email to climate@itu.int. Meet the rest of the winners and relive the ITU Green Application Challenge by accessing http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/index.html.

For more information about the ITU’s activities on climate change visit www.itu.int/climate.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:29:28 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2011
ITU Green App Challenge - Meet the developers! (#2) - Interview with Mr. Stephan Reiter and Ms. Simone Ferlin

The first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, supported by Blackberry and Telefonica, sought to uncover innovative concept papers for climate change related ICT applications. ITU announced the Challenge’s winner and papers deserving special mention at the Green Standards Week held in Rome, 5-9 September 2011.

One of the challenge’s finalist entries comes from Stephan Reiter and Simone Ferlin, both from Germany, who developed a concept for an application entitled “Make Me Green – Delivering Context-Specific Suggestions for a Green Lifestyle.” The goal of the application is to raise awareness of the impacts made by different lifestyles on the environment and climate change. Through the implementation of a tracking system, the application provides questions and suggestions about the lifestyle of the user, generating a greenness rating that can be used to establish a comparison with other users.

We approached Stephan and Simone to discuss the inspiration for their concept and their experiences with the challenge. Here is what they had to say.

[Question] Tell us a little about yourselves and what you do.

Simone: I am originally from Brazil, but came to Germany in 2004 to study information technology in Erlangen. I was always very enthusiastic about communications and took part in a few competitions during university. Before coming to Germany, I had thought my German was good enough. I realized quite quickly however that my greatest challenges were not with engineering, but with language, as dealing with the different regional dialects proved problematic.

Stephan, with whom I share an office at LMU, where we are both working on our Ph.D., talks even more peculiarly as he’s from Austria. Besides jokes about vocabulary and grammar, we enjoy working and spending time together.   Stephan: Simone has already spilled the beans: I am from Austria. I studied computer science in Linz, then came to Munich in 2009 to work as a graphic software engineer. I however quickly decided to go back to university, to have more time for my personal interests, and to experience the academic environment from a researcher’s perspective. I also wanted to change my focus from graphics to communication networks. Simone and I are working on our Ph.D. at LMU, and also find time to participate in challenges like this one. Simone is a veteran when it comes to competitions, and she was kind enough to let me join her in this one.  

[Q] How did you find out about the ITU Green ICT Application Challenge?  

Simone, Stephan: We often receive information through our research group about the activities of other research communities. We both received an invitation to participate in the ITU Green ICT Application Challenge, and immediately saw that the topic was well suited to an idea we had discussed before.

[Q] Why did you decide to take part in the challenge?

Stephan: We had discussed this idea of an environmental awareness application before we actually knew about this challenge. So, when Simone saw the challenge announced and told me about it, we just knew that we had to present our idea. Not only because it gave us an opportunity to present our idea and make a lasting contribution to the environment, but also because competitions are always fun and challenges like these appeal to our not-so-serious-researcher hearts.  

Simone: At our university, I have volunteered in many projects related to the environment and environmental awareness. Through these projects, it became clear to me that people do not have enough information on environmental awareness, and typically don’t know where to find such information. Stephan and I figured out an idea to solve this problem. And yes, I have always been motivated to participate in competitions: It is always very interesting, and gives one the freedom to explore new ideas.

[Q] Have you developed an app before, or was this experience new to you?

Simone: Not professionally, but we had something similar to this during my time at university.  

Stephan: I  developed a few applications for smartphones during my time at university, but never professionally and usually just for coursework.

[Q] Was the application that you presented something you’ve been working on for a long time or did you develop the app for this challenge?

Simone: I had an idea that we had taken through many drafts in our discussions. It was however only when we heard about the ITU Application Challenge that we decided to present it.

[Q] How did the development of the concept for the app take place? What was your biggest challenge when designing the application?

Simone: We did it partly during our working hours. Then, as soon as we had committed to submitting the paper, we went to the basement and used the white board to synchronize our ideas. With regards to the design, we wanted to “keep it simple, stupid!” (KISS approach). We knew it was something to be implemented in the near future, and we thus had to make a few compromises to ensure we met the deadline. We also found it challenging to accommodate environmental literature and state of the art technology in the type of application required by the Challenge.

Stephan: From my point of view, the biggest challenge was to narrow our many ideas down to an acceptable and, very importantly, realistic set of features for such an application. The first draft of our application was massive and had a host of cool ideas we planned to include. We then realized how difficult this would have been to implement, and so paused to determine exactly which of these ideas we needed to focus on. The result was an app that could be easily implemented, while still remaining a high-quality, useful tool in combating climate change.

[Q] What was your motivation behind developing an app to combat climate change/promote sustainability?

Simone: I had a few ideas about how IT could relate to the environment and, since mobile technologies are becoming increasingly widespread, a mobile application seemed a good testing ground for these ideas.  

Stephan: Our approach was also a very pragmatic one: On our way home from work each day, we see people playing with their mobile phones. It's no secret that people take their mobiles wherever they go, and that they use them for entertainment as much they do for communication. The idea that mobiles could educate their users on environmental issues was very appealing to us.

[Q] Where did your inspiration for this application come from?  

Simone: I was confronted with these issues while volunteering on environmental projects, where we found that information on environmental awareness rarely reached the people needing it most. We were having to repeat much of our work, as people did not know how and where to find information on environmentally-friendly behavior.

[Q] What other activities are you involved in to help fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability?

Simone: At the moment,  I am very busy with university-related work, and have almost no time to volunteer.  I simply try to consciously accommodate the environment in my everyday life, taking the environmentally-friendly option whenever it is available (e.g. riding a bicycle to work, or properly recycling garbage).  

Stephan: I was raised as a “good citizen” who separates garbage for recycling purposes, uses public transportation and consciously considers the environment when making choices in the supermarket. However, unlike Simone, who has been active in the Bund Naturschutz in Germany, I have never been a member of an environmental organization.

[Q] What do you expect from this application in the future? Are you planning to develop it further?

Simone: From our point of view, it is a very promising concept. We are however very involved in work related to our PhDs, and I think our concept might have to wait in the drawer for some time!  

Stephan: The idea is now visible and, as we do not have the time, we sincerely hope someone else will develop it further. It would be very cool to discover a commercially successful application based on our idea.  I would definitely use it, and Simone and  I would probably have several ideas to improve it.

[Q] What is your advice to developers wishing to create apps to help combat climate change/promote sustainability?

Simone: Just do it! But before you set out, ensure that your concept is realistic, and that you know exactly what your targets are.  

Stephan: Apps can be anything from small programs to full-blown services. Even if you don't have a lot of time to invest, you can still create popular apps that provide real value to the people who use them.

[Q] Any last thoughts?  

Simone and Stephan: Where is the cake ?!  

To find out more about Ms. Ferlin and Mr. Reiter and their activities, contact them via ITU by sending an email to climate@itu.int. Meet the rest of the winners and relive the ITU Green Application Challenge by accessing http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/index.html.

For more information about the ITU’s activities on climate change visit www.itu.int/climate.

Monday, November 07, 2011 11:42:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 31, 2011
ITU Green App Challenge - Meet the developers! - Interview with Ms. Euphraith Muthoni Masinde

The first ITU Green ICT Application Challenge sought to uncover innovative concept papers for climate change related ICT applications. ITU announced the Challenge’s winner and papers deserving special mention at the Green Standards Week held in Rome, 5-9 September 2011. The event was supported by BlackBerrry and Telefonica.

One of the challenge’s finalists, Ms. Euphraith Muthoni Masinde from Kenya, developed a concept for an application entitled, “A Community-Based System for Biodiversity Degradation.” This application aims to tackle climate change through community engagement and knowledge sharing. The app proposes a system harnessing traditional and indigenous knowledge on biodiversity and conservation. This information will be brought to light through community-based focus groups, and then disseminated to users through a database feeding data directly to mobile phones. Users would then build on this knowledge to create their own conservation practices.

We approached Euphraith to discuss the inspiration for her concept and her experience with the challenge. Here is what she had to say.

[Question] Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.  

I am a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I am a member of the HPI Research School in ICT for development (ICT4D), as well as a member of the Intelligent Systems and Advanced Telecommunication Laboratory. I am currently on study-leave from the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Nairobi, where I am a lecturer.

I hold an MSc. in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, and a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. My research objective is to come up with a drought and climate change monitoring/warning solution based on wireless sensor networks and mobile phones. This research also seeks to determine how these two technologies can complement indigenous African knowledge on droughts.

[Q] How did you find about the Challenge, and why did you decide to take part?

I am registered with the ITU’s Academic database,and it was through this network that I became aware of the Challenge and received an invitation to take part.. I decided to take part in the competition because my current area of research revolves around a number of topics on ITU’s list of activities. For instance, I am piggybacking the design of my wireless sensor networks on the ITU’s schematic layers of a ubiquitous sensor network proposal. In short, I am just fascinated by the activities of ITU, and this made me quickly submit my application to the Challenge.

[Q] Have you developed an app before or was this experience new to you?

Yes, I have developed a number of applications over the last 15 years. My first job assignment at the University of Nairobi was as a computer software analyst/developer. To give an example of my work in this role, I designed and developed the students’ management information system that is currently in use at the university. As a lecturer, I specialize in teaching courses with a software development emphasis, and I develop software as a hobby.

[Q] Was the application that you presented something you’ve been working on for a long time, or did you develop the app for this challenge? How did the development of the app take place?

My application is something I have been working on for the last 18 months, and I intend to complete it by the end of 2012. The development of my app is still under way.I have completed the template for collecting the indigenous knowledge on biodiversity degradation, and this takes the form of an Android-based mobile application. The website to disseminate this information is also complete, and it is a PHP-Apache-MySQL application.

[Q] What is the biggest challenge you are expecting upon completion of the application?

My biggest challenge lies in collecting this elusive indigenous knowledge on biodiversity degradation. It is an enormous volume of information and the task of collecting it is one requiring more resources than I currently have at my disposal.

[Q] What was your motivation behind developing an app to combat climate change/promote sustainability?

I viewed the competion as an avenue through which to publish what I consider a very innovative idea of compacting climate change information. I also entered hoping to win the prize and use the prize-money to fund the completion of my application.

[Q] Where did your inspiration for this application come from?

It came from my personal encounters with the devastating effects of climate change on biodiversity. I was born and brought up in a semi-arid area of the Eastern region of Kenya. In this remote village called Rugogwe, the formerly semi-arid area is now on the verge of becoming arid.

I grew up and lived in this village for over 20 years, and I have witnessed phenomenal degradation of its biodiversity. Crops such as sweet potatoes and bananas, which thrived in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, have no chance of flourishing in the now hostile climate. Seasonal rivers and streams that retained water throughout the year now struggle to retain water for a day. The size of maize crops and finger millet bunches produced by the area’s farms have shrunk drastically, and many musical birds that sang joyful songs during rainy seasons are now extinct. The bulls, cows, goats, sheep and chicken are no longer as big as we knew them in years past, rains do not fall when we expect them to and, when they do, they cause floods and carry away the little soil and sand left from sand harvesting!

Biodiversity here has been turned upside-down. I am determined to use my doctoral level education to contribute a solution for this degradation.

[Q] What other activities are you involved in to help fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability?

I have developed a novel solution for down-scaling the collection and dissemination of weather information to a local level. My solution makes use of the prevalence of mobile phones and versatile wireless sensor networks.

[Q] What do you expect from this application in the future? Are you planning to further develop it? What is your advice to developers wishing to create apps to help combat climate change/promote sustainability?  

I am determined to see the full realization of my application. I will first pilot it in three selected areas in Kenya, and then hopefully scale it up to the rest of Kenya and the Horn of Africa in general. To my fellow developers, I would encourage people to create community-driven applications. It is difficult to go wrong with such initiatives, because one ends up with a solution ‘for people-by-the-people’.

[Q] Any last thoughts?

I am completely thrilled that the prominent judges deemed my application worthy of a special mention. This has really boosted my morale and encouraged me to move even faster in implementing my application. Thank you very much to the ITU team that came up with this noble idea.  


To find out more about Ms. Muthoni and her activities, visit her website at http://www.muthonimasinde.net/, or contact her via ITU by sending an email to climate@itu.int. Meet the rest of the winners and relive the ITU Green Application Challenge by accessing http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/climatechange/greenict/index.html.

For more information about the ITU’s activities on climate change visit www.itu.int/climate

Monday, October 31, 2011 2:51:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 23, 2011
Speakers announced for the 4th meeting of the DCICC, to be held in Nairobi

The 4th meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will be held on the 30 of September in Nairobi, Kenya during the 6th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The meeting will bring together key specialists in the field, from government officials to private sector specialists.  

The 4th meeting of DCICC will have an open format to allow participants to share their latest activities on the area of Internet and climate change. The meeting will be opened by H.E. Hasanul Haq Inu, MP and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of  Post and Telecommunication of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, and moderated by Mr Ali Drissa Badiel, Senior Adviser of the ITU Regional Office for Africa.   For the first time, the meeting of the coalition will be followed by a technical workshop focused on “Green ICTs and Innovation”.

Speakers to take part in the event will include representatives from ITU, the OECD, Microsoft, the International Development Research Centre and UNEP, among others. The workshop will be moderated by Ms Nevine Tewfik, Deputy Director of International Relations, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt.  

For more information, including the full program of the meeting refer to http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/dc/index.html 

More information about ITU's activities in climate change at www.itu.int/climate

Friday, September 23, 2011 2:14:53 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 22, 2011
4th meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change to be held in Nairobi, Kenya

The 4th meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Climate Change (DCICC) will be held on the 30 of September in Nairobi, Kenya during the 6th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The DCICC meeting will be opened by Chairman H.E. Hasanual Haq Inu, MP of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Post and Telecommunication.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with a workshop on Green ICTs and Innovation, moderated by Ms. Nevine Tewfik, Deputy Director of International Relations, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt. The meeting will be the latest of a series of events to promote knowledge sharing on environmental impacts associated with the Internet.

The meeting will bring together key specialists in the field, from government officials to private sector specialists, such as Microsoft, to public sector specialists, such as the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU), to international organization experts, such as UNEP, among others.

For more information, including the full program of the meeting refer to http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/dc/index.html

Find out more:

Monday, August 22, 2011 2:43:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 20, 2011
ITU joins the UN CC:Learn online platform

On July 2011 ITU became a partner of the One UN Training Service Platform for Climate Change (UN CC:Learn), an initiative driven by a partnership of 29 UN agencies to support Member States, international and regional organizations and other development partners in designing and implementing an effective approach of sustainable learning to address climate change.

The UN CC:Learn platform, launched at the 2009 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP-15), is part of the “One UN Climate Change Action Framework” of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). Through this online platform UN CC:Learn partners contribute to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training and education, fostering knowledge-sharing by delivering and evaluating climate change learning activities and materials at the global, regional and national level. Access to the online database of materials is free of charge and open to any stakeholder. The platform also includes a section of news related with partners of the initiative.

As a first step in this collaboration, ITU background resources on ICTs and climate change have been added to the UN CC:Learn library. Future collaboration will include the development of a One UN Training Package on climate change, as well as new introductory and advanced learning packages on specific climate change issues. Click here to access ITU’s materials at the UN CC:Learn library.

Relevant links:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:45:09 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Sixth ITU Symposium on ICTs and climate change to open this week in Accra, Ghana  

The Sixth ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change will be opened on 7-8 of July in Accra, Ghana by the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Mr Malcolm Johnson, and their excellences Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology of Ghana and Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications of Ghana.

Key sessions to be held throughout the 2-day event will include the High-Level Segment “From Cancun via Accra to Durban – A Roadmap on ICTs, Climate Change and the Environment”, which will aim to set transparent policy objectives and targets to measure and improve government green ICT strategies. Speakers at this session will include, among others their excellences Mr Ruhakana Rugunda, Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Uganda and Mr Nelson Chamisa, Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Zimbabwe, together with Mr. Kyle Whitehill, CEO of Vodafone Ghana and M. Lawrence Atiase, Secretary General of the African Broadcasting Union.

The symposium will cover a broad number of topics related with the key role of ICTs to address climate change and environmental protection. Topics will range from climate change adaptation space and climate change and the impacts of e-waste. Overall more than 30 speakers will take part in the event, covering the points of view of governmental agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, JapanMeteoFrance or NASA, private sector companies, such as Microsoft, RIM, HP or France Telecom, or international organizations, such as the UNFCCC, WMO or the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, among others.

The event will be chaired by Mr. Paarock Vanpercy, Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana. Click here to access the full program of the symposium. For more information on ITU’s activities on climate change refer to www.itu.int/climate.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 9:10:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2011
In a time of growing carbon emissions, ITU invites the global community to look at the ICT sector as a solution provider to achieve emissions reductions

Two new releases from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank published this week during the 2011 Carbon Expo have raised significant concerns about the current trends in carbon emissions and the attainment of the targets pledged during the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16/CMP6), held in Cancun last December.

According to the latest IEA estimates, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, while 80 per cent of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already locked in, largely due to infrastructure investment. IEA concludes in the 2010 World Energy Outlook that it will be extremely challenging to succeed in limiting temperature increase to 2°C by 2020 and thus, achieving the global goal agreed in Cancun, unless innovative alternatives are explored. “These estimates are another wake-up call”, highlighted IEA chief officials.

From a different angle the report, The State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2011, produced by the World Bank, highlights the decline of the carbon market over 2010 both in terms of carbon trading transactions and market value. According to the report, “2010 proved to be the hottest year on record, while global emission levels continued to rise relentlessly”. Following the latter opposite trends between carbon market growth and emissions levels, the authors of the report predict that in their efforts to shift to lower carbon development paths, “other national and local low-carbon initiatives will pick up in both developed and developing economies ... to overcome regulatory uncertainty and signal that, one way or another, solutions that address the climate challenge will emerge”. Nevertheless, the report underlines the “risk of losing billions of lower cost private investment and new technology solutions in developing countries” offered via carbon market tools.

ITU, closely following these last technical assessments, invites the global community to look at the ICT sector as a solution provider to meet the goals agreed in Cancun. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as satellites, mobile phones or the Internet, can enable countries to take up transformative solutions to deploy innovative, energy efficient and low-carbon technologies that ensure a better, “greener” and sustainable future. The ICT sector is already committed to improve its own environmental impact, as well as to help improve the carbon footprint of other sectors.

Learn more about ITU’s work in this area by joining us at the side event “Linking ICTs with the Cancun Agreements” to be held on 7 June 2011 in Bonn, Germany, during the forthcoming UN Climate Change Talks.

Find more information about ITU’s activities on Climate Change at: www.itu.int/climate.

Friday, June 03, 2011 2:43:36 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 30, 2011
ITU and TechAmerica to organize a joint side event during the June UNFCCC Climate Change Talks

ITU and TechAmerica are organizing the side event “Linking Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) with the Cancun Agreements”. The event will take place on 7 June 2011 from 18.15 to 19.45, in Bonn (Germany) during the June UN Climate Change Talks.

The event will discuss inter alia how ICTs can help adapt and mitigate climate change and what existing ICTs are affordable for developing countries. The event will also provide an opportunity to exchange views on how ICTs can help to implement the Cancun Agreements and will look at the new technologies to  promote green ICTs and innovation.

The panel of the discussion will consist of the following speakers:

  • Ms. Cristina Bueti, ITU-T Climate Change Programme Coordinator, ITU
  • Mr. James Lovegrove, Managing Director of Tech America Europe
  • Ms. Helen Asiamah, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana
  • Moderator: Mr. Kevin Grose, Coordinator, Information Services Climate Change Secretariat UNFCCC

Venue: Room METRO (Ministry of Transport)  

More information available at www.itu.int/climate

Monday, May 30, 2011 10:19:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2011
e-Environment day at WSIS Forum 2011 - Go Smart, Move Green!

ITU, UNEP, WMO and the Basel Convention will organize on 18 May 2011 a full program of activities during WSIS Forum 2011 related with the role of ICTs in the promotion of sustainable development and the preservation of the environment.

Organized around the theme “Go smart, move green”, the “e-Environment day at WSIS Forum 2011” will include the following sessions:

10:30 - 13:00. ICT Sector Engagement Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Energy for ALL.

14:00 - 14:30. E-environment publication releases

14:45 - 16:15. Avoiding e-waste. Moving to environmentally sound life-cycle management of ICTs

16:30 - 18:00. From WSIS to Rio+20: The role of ICTs in sustainable development and the green economy transition

Key speakers will include representatives from ITU, GSMA, France Telecom, Microsoft, Telecom Italia, WMO or the Basel Convention, among others

Take part in the event and join us onsite from ILO conference center or via the webcast. Participation will be open to all stakeholders, including governments, private sector, civil society, academia, as well as international and regional institutions.

For further information please visit: www.wsis.org/forum/environment or contact us directly at climate@itu.int

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:35:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 15, 2011
Go Smart, Move Green at the e-Environment day @ WSIS forum 2011

The Information Society provides great opportunities to address some of the key global challenges related with the promotion of sustainable development and the preservation of the environment. But what exactly is the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in tackling climate change and how can they move forward the sustainable development agenda?

These questions have been addressed since 2003 in the multi-stakeholder process of the World Summit of Information Society (WSIS), in particular through the implementation of action line C7 - ICT applications, e-environment of the WSIS Geneva Plan of Action, which establishes the foundations for an Information Society for all.

Action line C7 focuses on environmental issues such as climate monitoring, adaptation to climate change, making better use of natural resources, recycling and disposing of end-of-life ICT equipment in an environmentally sound manner, and reduction of the carbon footprint of multiple sectors, including the ICT industry. These and other issues will be discussed during the “E-environment day at WSIS Forum 2011”, to be held in Geneva (Switzerland) on Wednesday 18 May 2011 under the theme “Go Smart, move Green”.

The event, organized by ITU together with the Basel Convention, UNEP and WMO, will also review the progress made so far in the implementation of this action line. Get engaged in the event and take part in workshops, interactive discussions, publication releases and networking sessions. Participation will be open to all stakeholders, including governments, private sector, civil society, academia, as well as international and regional institutions.

Join the Green ICT community by taking part in this event either on-site or remotely, presenting your recent publications during the event, or displaying the most recent activities from your organization at the e-environment exhibition stand.

For further information please visit: www.wsis.org/forum/environment or contact us directly at climate@itu.int

Friday, April 15, 2011 10:22:22 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 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: www.itu.int/pub/D-REG-TTR.12-2010

More about ITU’s activities on climate change: www.itu.int/climate

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:18:00 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2011
New section launched on ITU’s Climate Change Website: Highlights from 2010

2010 was an eventful year of major events and activities for ITU’s climate change program. From the 5th ITU symposium on ICTs, the environment and climate change to ITU´s participation at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16), ITU made significant progress during 2010 in promoting the use of ICTs to address climate change.

Did you miss any of our activities? Relive them today and access our latest publications, events and recommendations in the new section “Highlights from 2010”, available at the ITU Climate Change page (www.itu.int/climate).

Direct link: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/2010highlights.html
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 9:44:14 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 10, 2010
ITU and WIPO event on ICTs and Intellectual Property for Mitigating Climate change

ITU and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have announced this week that they will co-organize a side event at the next UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Tianjin, China, from Monday 4 to Saturday, October 2010.

The event “The Effective Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the Intellectual Property (IP) System for Mitigating Climate Change”, which will take place on Thursday 7th October 2010, will provide a platform where top decision-makers from governments, and experts from international organizations and the private sector can debate the potential role and impact that ICTs and the IP system can have in promoting innovation and the evolution of new technologies, and encourage/advocate broader access to those technologies for the purpose of preventing further climate change.

Additional information on the event can be found at:

http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/itu-wipo-unfcccOct2010.html

More about ITU´s activities on climate change and green ICTs:

http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/index.html

More about WIPO´s activities on climate change:

http://wipo.int/climate/en/

Friday, September 10, 2010 1:08:05 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 11, 2009
7-18 December: ITU programme at the UNFCCC ”iseeT@COP15” Kiosk to be held every day from 13.00 to 14.00 hours during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The 2009 exhibition of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will focus on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are helping to increase awareness and to support concrete action on climate change in both developing and developed countries.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is contributing a special programme of daily "business talks" by leaders in the ICT sector from both developing and developed countries which will be held every day from 13.00 to 14.00 hours from 7 to 18 December 2009.

More information on the ITU programme can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

Friday, December 11, 2009 1:14:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
10 December: ITU-WIPO Side-event on "The effective use of ICTs and the IP system for mitigating climate change"

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a joint side-event with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on "The effective use of ICTs and the IP system for mitigating climate change" where top decision-makers from governments, international organizations and industry shared their views and solutions on how ICTs can help to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and debated over the potential role and impact of the intellectual property (IP) system in promoting the development of new technologies, and in leveraging access to technology.

More information on the programme can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/itu-wipo-cop15.html 

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

ITU and Climate Change

Friday, December 11, 2009 1:11:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Broadband will cut carbon by 5 per cent down under: PM

Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced that the country’s A$43 billion high-speed broadband network – now under construction - will reduce his country's carbon emissions by five per cent. It seems, the role that information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been accepted by at least one world leader, if not by many others.

The stand-up-and-be-counted guy is the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd – who will be attending the global climate change meeting in Copenhagen this week. Speaking to a broadband conference in Sydney earlier today Mr. Rudd said the reduction in travel costs made possible by the use of telepresence video conferencing technology and the facilitation of smart metering energy usage monitoring are two reasons why the country’s National Broadband Network (NBN) will be successful in reducing the country’s carbon emissions by an impressive five per cent. “Together, the NBN and CPRS (carbon pollution reduction scheme) are critical to Australia's efforts to address climate change,” he said.

"It is also essential for many of the technologies that will help us reduce carbon emissions, improve health services, create a world class education system and improve opportunities for all Australians, no matter where they live,” he added.

Full article

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:49:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Copenhagen: Google Launches Forest Monitoring Tool

COPENHAGEN — One of the major topics at the Copenhagen climate summit this week has been how can governments monitor and reduce deforestation, given that the removal of forests contributes to a fifth of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN has suggested the REDD framework (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) and negotiators have been deliberating over variations like REDD+ and REDD++ (sounds like a computer language).

Well, at the Copenhagen event on Thursday Google showed off a tool that helps collect and manage deforestation data, and which could come in very handy for groups backing these different forestry frameworks. Here’s how it works: Google takes the type of satellite data that it uses for its Google Earth mapping service — in this case satellite photos of forests over time — and marries it with measurement software developed by Greg Asner of Carnegie Institution for Science and Carlos Souza of Imazon. Google says Asner and Souza’s forest monitoring software tool, and others like it, have been “hampered by lack of access to satellite imagery data and computational resources for processing.”

Google then throws this all together into a tool that sits in Google’s “cloud” — cloud computing is distributed, on demand, scalable computing — and offers it up to researchers and policy makers via the web. That means researchers that might not have the resources to access this type of data and measurement tools, can access “terabytes of satellite imagery and thousands of computers” via Google’s prototype tool. Google says the deforestation measurement tool, which isn’t available to the public yet, will provide this valuable deforestation information more quickly, more easily, more cheaply, with increased security and privacy (hello climategate) and with a much larger impact on fighting climate change than has been previously available. And since it’s coming out of Google.org it will be a not-for-profit product. T

he idea highlights the role that information and communication technology can play in fighting climate change. At an event at the Copenhagen summit this afternoon, Microsoft’s sustainability officer Rob Bernard emphasized the role that ICT can play in providing research and collaboration among scientists. ICT is about unearthing and managing data, and that data can be used to make crucial decisions in reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, explained Bernard. Both Microsoft and Google have a large presence, in terms of IT companies, at COP15.

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html 

ITU and Climate Change

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:41:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, October 25, 2009
ICT's role in combating climate highlighted in the Doha Summit (Source: The Peninsula/ BY SATISH KANADY )

DOHA: Aviation industry leaders meeting here for three days from today will discuss a possible roadmap for “Green Aviation” to influence policymakers at the forthcoming Copenhagen climate summit.

The crucial Doha Aviation Summit will also discuss the public-private partnership in ensuring a carbon-free future and formulate a green agenda for the aviation industry.
IATA has been calling on governments to adopt a sectoral approach to emission reductions for long. The industry has committed to some tough targets, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020. At the Doha summit, Quentin Browell, Assistant Director, Aviation Environment, at IATA, will explain why each government needs to think globally to finetune the aviation industry’s strategy to fight climate change ...

Sunday, October 25, 2009 8:29:46 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Summit on Climate Change to take place in New York on 22 September 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening a Summit on Climate Change to focus Heads of State and Government on the need for urgent action, and to mobilize the highest level political will needed to reach a fair, effective and scientifically ambitious global climate deal at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 4:18:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South Korea Plans Smart Grid by 2030

South Korea aims to build the world's first nationwide smart grid system to reduce its emissions by monitoring energy use more carefully.

Unlike conventional "dumb" electricity grids, smart grids allow two-way communication between electricity suppliers and consumers, as well as enabling more dispersed generation and storage of power.

The grid, to be set up by 2030, is part of the country's $103bn initiative to increase its generation of green energy from the current 2.4 per cent of total power to 11 per cent in the next two decades. According to a government-led committee, South Korea could lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 million tonnes annually with a national smart grid.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 2:08:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
First ITU/WMO Seminar on the Use of Radio Spectrum for Meteorology: Weather, Water and Climate Monitoring and Prediction (16-18 September 2009)

Between 1980 and 2005, over 7,000 natural disasters worldwide took the lives of more than 2 million people and produced economic losses estimated at over 1.2 trillion US dollars. Ninety per cent of these natural disasters, 72 per cent of casualties and 75 per cent of economic losses were caused by weather-, climate- and water-related hazards, such as droughts, floods, severe storms and tropical cyclones. For this reason, climate change monitoring and disaster prediction mechanisms are increasingly vital for our personal safety and economic wellbeing. Currently, radio-based applications such as remote sensors are the main source of information about the Earth´s atmosphere and surface.

For 135 years, there has been excellent collaboration and partnership between WMO and ITU. Whilst WMO focuses its efforts on meeting the needs for environmental information and the corresponding radio frequency spectrum resources, ITU, as international steward of the spectrum, allocates the necessary radio frequencies to allow the interference-free operation of radio-based applications and radiocommunication systems (terrestrial and space) used for climate monitoring and prediction, weather forecasting and disaster early warning and detection.

This seminar is organized as an open forum for discussion of the ITU and WMO roles in the use of radio spectrum, space orbits and radio-based meteorological tools and systems for monitoring, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The primary goal of this seminar is to provide information and exchange of the experience National Meteorological and Radio-Frequency Spectrum Management Services/Authorities have on the use and further development of radio-based space and terrestrial systems and applications employed for weather, water and climate monitoring and the relevant radio-frequency spectrum management activities.

The main issues proposed for discussion are as follows: The role of information communication technologies (ICTs) in general, and radio-based technologies in particular, in monitoring climate change - general overview; WMO and ITU roles in development, use and effective operation of systems and applications for monitoring of the environment, prediction, detection of natural disasters and mitigation of negative effects of disasters initiated by climate change; Current status and development of radio-based systems and applications for weather, water and climate monitoring and prediction; Operation of meteorological systems and quality of meteorological measurements; Activities of other national and international organizations in climate monitoring and disaster prediction, detection and mitigation of negative effects of disasters.

The seminar will be conducted in English.

More information on the seminar can be found here

Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:59:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
How Mobile Can Enable a Low Carbon Economy: Live Online Debate Scheduled for September 30

In 2008, The Climate Change Group’s Smart 2020 report recognized the ICT (information communications technology) industry’s potential clout in the global battle against climate change. Smart 2020 estimated ICT as a whole could save 15% of predicted greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, with wireless applications playing a significant part.

The projected 15% reduction in emissions stems from energy savings worth €600 billion. Savings that are especially important as they are five times the industry’s own footprint. In the new report Carbon Connections: Quantifying mobile's role in tackling climate change, published by Accenture and Vodafone, 13 wireless telecommunications opportunities are identified that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 113 Mt CO2e a year and cut associated energy costs by €43 billion across the EU-25 countries in 2020.

Spurred by this new report, Ethical Corporation has teamed up with Vodafone to host an online Live Debate on September 30th 2009 to provide the platform for a robust and challenging discussion on how mobile can enable a low carbon economy.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:55:44 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson Calls on Delegates to Raise ICT to Top of Agenda at UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Ericsson said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is crucial to creating a low-carbon 21st century infrastructure. Using today's communications infrastructure in a smart way can maintain economic development while dramatically reducing emissions.

Giving a keynote address at the Broadband World Forum in Paris today, Ericsson CFO and incoming CEO Hans Vestberg said: "For too long the need for CO2 reductions has been seen as a trade off between economic development and care for the planet. This does not have to be the case. Because the ICT sector can reduce CO2emissions substantially, government representatives have an opportunity to bring ICT onto the agenda for the upcoming United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15) in December." Vestberg continued: "Studies show that ICT can reduce global CO2emissions by 15% by 2020. Ericsson believes that with an innovation-driven climate agenda, reductions could be even greater.

Modern ICT solutions, ranging from education and information services, health as well as transport, can give access to vital services all over the world, without sacrificing our environment."

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ITU's contribution to the UNFCCC negotiations can be found here

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:49:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 06, 2009
Talks with French Government Officials and Industry Leaders

During the UN CEB meeting held at UNESCO in Paris, Dr Touré took the opportunity to have extensive talks with French Government officials and industry Leaders, touching upon issues of great importance to both France and ITU: The negative impact of the economic crisis on the ICT sector as well as the solutions and opportunities ICTs present for global economic revival. The promotion of the forthcoming ITU Telecom World 2009 was received positively.

Monday, April 06, 2009 8:05:08 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009
Commission Pushes ICT Use for a Greener Europe

As part of its effort to combat climate change and drive economic recovery, the European Commission today called on Member States and industry to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve energy efficiency.

These technologies are expected to reduce total carbon emissions in Europe by up to 15% by 2020. ICT can not only improve monitoring and management of energy use in factories, offices and in public spaces but above all help make people more aware of how they use energy.

With smart metering in their homes, for example, consumers have been found to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 10%.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Thursday, March 12, 2009 6:27:20 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ultra Battery

A breakthrough technology is holding forth the promise of charging electronic gadgets in minutes, never having to replace a battery again, and dropping the cost of hybrid cars.

Indeed, the technology has the potential to provide an energy storage device ten times more powerful than even the latest batteries in hybrid cars -- while outliving the vehicle itself. The new technology, developed at MIT's Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems, should improve ultracapacitors by swapping in carbon nanotubes, thereby greatly increasing the surface area of electrodes and the ability to store energy.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 1:17:47 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009
XIII Informática 2009, Havana, Cuba

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré participated actively at the last XIII Informática 2009 held in Havana, Cuba from 9-13 February 2009. Dr Touré, spoke about ICTs and the Millennium Development Goals, ICT convergence, and ICTs and climate change. among other important topics.

The Convention Informática is the union of 14 thematic events that are held simultaneously at the same venue being some of its key objectives:

  1. Encourage research, development, and technological innovation in the field of ICT
  2. Exchange experiences and specialized information in the field of ICT
  3. Spread knowledge
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:01:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Google Earth Dives Under the Sea

Google has lifted the lid on its first major upgrade to its global mapping software, Google Earth. Google Ocean expands this map to include large swathes of the ocean floor and abyssal plain. Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain.

The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers. Al Gore was at the launch event in San Francisco which, Google hopes, will take its mapping software a step closer to total coverage of the entire globe.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:58:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 30, 2009
CDM Methodologies Panel Report and Annexes Released

The report of the 36th meeting of the Panel on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) baseline and monitoring methodologies and its annexes are now available on the CDM website. The meeting convened from 19-23 January 2009, at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany.

The report outlines the issues considered by the Panel at its 36th meeting, which include: proposed new methodologies; requests for clarification on and revision to approved methodologies; issues of general guidance and tools; and schedule of meetings and rounds of submissions of proposed new methodologies. On the proposed new methodologies, the Panel recommended four for approval and four for non-approval. The Panel could not complete its consideration of some of the methodologies because of some pending and/or unresolved issues.

The Panel’s recommendations, made to the Executive Board for its consideration, are final and are also published on the CDM website. Regarding the schedule of meetings, the Panel confirmed that its 37th meeting will be held from 2-6 March 2009, as per annex 16 of the report of the 43rd meeting of the Executive Board.

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Friday, January 30, 2009 2:18:14 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
European Commission Releases Proposals for “Comprehensive Climate Change Agreement in Copenhagen”

The European Commission has released a communication entitled “Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen,” which sets out proposals to achieve the EU’s objective to ensure that global average temperature does not increase more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

It addresses three key challenges:

  • targets by developed countries and appropriate actions by developing countries;
  • the need to address the financing of actions by developing countries (both to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change);
  • and the need to build an effective global carbon market.

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Friday, January 30, 2009 2:14:51 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urges Leaders to Forge ‘Green New Deal’ to Fight World Recession

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the world’s business and other leaders to use the current economic crisis to launch a global “Green New Deal” that creates jobs and fights climate change by investing in renewable energy and technological development.

“Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress. Indeed, it is the one true existential threat to the planet,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a speech that drew parallels from the Global Compact of corporate responsibility launched 10 years ago by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the same hall.

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Friday, January 30, 2009 2:07:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 22, 2009
ICT for a Global Sustainable Future: How can ICT durably contribute to the wellbeing of all citizens?

From left to right: Luiz Fernando Ferreirada Silva, Eduard Dundler, Hamadoun Toure, Basievon Solms, Roland BurgeThe European Commission Conference on ICT for a Global Sustainable Future was held in Brussels on 22-23 January 2009. As one of the keynote speakers ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, offered his views on how ICTs can estimulate economic growth and boost business. He also addressed the issue of Climate Change and how ICTs can be effective in helping reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 5:40:29 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009
UNGA Adopts Climate Change-Related Resolutions

Among 34 development-related actions put forward by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a number of resolutions reflecting the breadth of the Committee’s agenda, including consideration of the economic ramifications of climate change, and addressing the need for a more equitable international financial system and to bolster developing countries’ resilience to financial risk.

Among the climate change-related resolutions, the UNGA: proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as the lead agency and focal point for the Year, and emphasized that chemistry education is critical to addressing the challenge of global climate change (document A/63/414); supported international efforts and funding to prevent and manage natural disasters, as well as extreme weather patterns; called upon the international community to step up efforts for full implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action; called upon the international community, the Secretary-General and relevant UN bodies to help strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño (document A/63/414/Add.3); stressed the need to further advance and implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building (document A/63/414/Add.7); called for urgent global action to address climate change for the benefit of present and future generations, and urged parties to the UNFCCC to continue using the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their work (document A/63/414/Add.4); urged all governments, relevant organizations, UN bodies and the Global Environment Facility to take timely action to effectively follow-up and implement the Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration, and called upon the international community to help Small Island Developing States adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change (document A/63/414/Add.2); encouraged governments to promote sustainable urbanization to improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations, including slum-dwellers and the urban poor, and to help mitigate climate change (UN-Habitat document A/63/415); and reaffirmed its partnership with the Pacific Island Forum through the lens of the serious threats posed to vulnerable island States by climate change and the global economic recession (document A/63/L.56).

UN Press release

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Monday, January 19, 2009 1:09:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Secretary-General: Climate Change is the “One True Existential Threat to Our Planet”
In his first press conference of the year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that 2009 is “the year of climate change.” He stressed that the climate change summit in Copenhagen is only 11 months away and indicated that he would engage world leaders on the key issues in the negotiations, beginning later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos and working toward a high-level meeting on the margins of the general debate in September.

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Monday, January 19, 2009 12:59:47 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 16, 2009
Ban Marks UN Year of Climate Change

In his New Year’s message to Koreans, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Korean government to take a more active role in global efforts to tackle climate change.

Ban stressed that this is the UN Year of Climate Change, urging Seoul to live up to its growing status in the international community.

“Climate change, which is threatening the future of all mankind and the entire globe, is an urgent task that all members of the international community, regardless of ethnicity or national boundaries, must tackle altogether,” the former Korean foreign minister said in the message.

“So I designated 2009 as the UN Year of Climate Change and expect the Korean government and the international community to participate more actively and offer support for the UN’s efforts to tackle the problem.”

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Friday, January 16, 2009 2:16:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Computing's Carbon Footprint Gets Bigger

The global computing industry is starting to rival aviation in its contribution to global warming. The computing sector has come under increasing scrutiny over energy consumption and the carbon emissions of data centers, in particular, as the debate over emissions widens beyond the traditional targets like coal plants, heavy industry and planes.

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Friday, January 16, 2009 2:05:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 08, 2008
United Nations Climate Change Conference - Poznañ, Poland

The United Nations Climate Change Conference - Poznañ, Poland kicked off Monday, 1 December. The two-week meeting, the fourteenth Conference of the 192 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fourth meeting of the 183 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, is the half-way mark in the negotiations on an ambitious and effective international response to climate change.

The deal is to be clinched in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 and will take effect in 2013, the year after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires. Close to eleven thousand participants, including government delegates from 186 Parties to the UNFCCC and representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions, are attending the two-week gathering.

ITU is organizing a side-event on "ICT and Climate Change: Finding Solutions" which will take place on 10 December 2008 from 10.00 to 12.30 hours, Econcern Sustainable Energy Event at The World Trade Center - Conference Room 1, Poznan, Poland.

Information about this side-event can be found here or by contacting Ms. Cristina Bueti at climate@itu.int

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change.

UNFCCC Press release can be found here.

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:10:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 05, 2008
Don't miss: ICTs and Climate Change:Finding Solutions Side-event, Poznan (Poland), 10 December 2008

ICTs and Climate Change:Finding Solutions Side-event will be held in Poznan (Poland), from 09.00 to 12.30 hours, on Wednesday 10 December 2008.

ICTs are a vital tool in every aspect of our daily lives and they also present the best possible hope we have for combating climate change, and tackling the 98% of emissions produced by sectors other than ICTs.

At ITU, we’re promoting ICTs as a powerful cross-cutting solution to not only reduce the emissions within its own industry but also significantly reduce the GHG emissions of other sectors.

With ICTs an essential part of the ongoing global discussion, come to our side-event on Wednesday to find out:

-- How ICTs can provide solutions to reduce the GHG emissions produced by other sectors of the economy.

-- How ICTs can help developing countries to adapt to climate change.

-- Why ICTs are essential in measuring climate change.

-- How ICTs can help mitigate disasters and emergencies

-- What cost savings can be leveraged by applying ICTs to global infrastructure and industry.

-- How the ICT industry could help reduce global emissions by as much as 15 per cent by 2020.

Practical information:

What: Side-event on ICTs and Climate Change: Finding Solutions

When: 10.00-12.30, Wednesday 10 December

Where: Conference Room 1, World Trade Center, Poznan, Poland

Organizers: ITU -- the UN specialized agency for ICTs -- in partnership with Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5)

Website: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/2008-12-10.html

List of speakers:

Mr. Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General of ITU
Mr. Luis Neves, GeSI Chairman
Mr. Sebastian Gallehr, Chief Executive Director, e5 European Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Mr. Bjorn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Dr. Ignacio Campino, Senior Executive Vice President and Representative of the Board of Management for Sustainability and Climate Protection, Deutsche Telekom
Dr. Chris Tuppen, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT Group
Mr. Joaquim Croca, Corporate Responsibility Executive, Vodafone
Mr. Pierre Delforge, Manager, Energy and Climate Strategy, HP
Mr. Shailendra Mudgal, Senior Vice President, BIO Intelligence Service
Ms. Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, ITU

Information about this side event can be found here or by contacting us at climate@itu.int

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change.

Friday, December 05, 2008 6:59:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 14, 2008
HLS-08 concludes with ITU Secretary-General's Declaration on Cybersecurity and Climate Change

The 63rd Session of ITU Council opened with a High-Level Segment, 12−13 November 2008. The meeting was inaugurated by two Heads of State, H.E. Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and H.E. Mr Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, as well as by United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon via video message. It was attended by some 400 participants, 21 Ministers, Ambassadors and heads of regulatory organizations and UN agencies. The High-Level Segment concluded on 13 November 2008 with a Declaration by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré.

Extract from Dr Touré's Declaration:

"Cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges of our time. The rapid growth of ICT networks has enabled opportunists to exploit online vulnerabilities and attack countries’ critical infrastructure...

... Climate change is another profound challenge that is at work, transforming the face of the world. Whatever the underlying cause, at current rates of extinction, scientists predict that two-thirds of all bird, mammal, butterfly, and plant species will be extinct by the end of this century...
"

 

Friday, November 14, 2008 2:18:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 13, 2008
Climate Change and ICT Issues debated at the ITU High-Level Segment

The ITU High-Level Meeting on emerging trends in the ICT sector, including climate change and cybersecurity, brought together the Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda along with Ministers, regulators and heads of UN agencies.

In his message to the gathering, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed ITU's commitment to 'connecting the world'. Commending ITU's work in striving to make the ICT sector climate neutral, Mr Ban said, "Climate change is the defining challenge of our era. Your work to cut greenhouse gas emissions, develop standards and use 'e-environment' systems can speed up the global shift to a low-carbon economy."

"Climate change is a grave concern for all humanity," stressed ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. "Redressing the damage already done and mitigating future impact will require concerted efforts on the part of everyone, including the information and communication technology sector." He said ITU can play an active and valuable role in helping reduce carbon emissions - for example, through the development of technical standards that lower the power requirements of ICT equipment and services, and through helping pioneer new technologies that help reduce the carbon footprint of other industries, such as the automotive sector.

The programme of the High-Level Segment of ITU Council can be found here.

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change

Press Release: Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda address new trends in ICT during the High-Level Segment.  

 

Thursday, November 13, 2008 3:50:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 07, 2008
ITU Members Agree to Reduce GHG Emissions from ICT Use

World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 21-30 October 2008, adopted a resolution whereby ITU members will work towards reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

The resolution also recognizes that such technologies can help mitigate the effects of climate change by limiting and reducing emissions across all industry sectors. It further acknowledges that the ITU has committed to achieving climate neutrality within three years. ITU estimates that ICTs contribute around 2 to 2.5% of global GHG emissions, and that this share is likely to increase as ICTs become more widely available. The meeting brought together 768 delegates, including 13 ministers or vice-ministers from 99 countries.

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change.

 

Friday, November 07, 2008 11:20:57 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Climate Change Chaos Looms

Flooded bridges, airports and roads, electricity blackouts, severe tropical storms and crumbling footpaths are among the consequences of climate change to Australia, a new report by climate and engineering experts has found. Australia's energy, water and transport infrastructure are most at risk from global climate change and rising sea levels and more must be done to reinforce buildings and better plan future projects, a risk assessment on infrastructure by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering says.

Bushfire, drought and higher winds were all expected to play havoc with buildings, roads, telecommunications and other public assets unless better planning and mitigation was put in place. The ATSE report, launched in Melbourne yesterday by Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, also found that new investment in water storage and efficiency was needed to counter continuing drought, particularly in southern Australia.

As a core function of its development mission, ITU will assist Member States in the use of ICT applications for e-environment and sustainable development and to use telecommunication/ICTs to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, including the use of emergency telecommunications and alerting systems for disaster relief.

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Friday, November 07, 2008 9:12:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Delegates at UN Telecom Forum Agree to Reduce Emissions from ICT Use

Close to 800 information and communication technology (ICT) experts from nearly 100 countries have wrapped up a United Nations meeting in Johannesburg by agreeing to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of ICTs.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that ICTs contribute around 2.0% to 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is likely to grow as ICTs become more widely available. In a resolution adopted at the close of the ten-day World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in South Africa yesterday, ITU members agreed to reduce the emissions arising from the use of ICTs, in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They also recognised that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to tackle climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce emissions across all industry sectors.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:00:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Media Advisory: High-level intervention on ICTs and Climate Change and Cybersecurity

Press conference with Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda

What: High-level meeting on Climate Change and ICTs and Cybersecurity: Press conference
When: 12 November 2008 at 11 am
Where: ITU Headquarters, Place des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Why: Climate Change:

    1. Combating Climate Change through information and communication technologies (ICT)
    2. Adapting to Climate Change: The Role of Emergency Telecommunications

Cybersecurity:

  1. Managing cyberthreats through harmonized policies and organizational structures
  2. Addressing the technical and legal challenges of the borderless nature of cybercrime
  3. Protect children online: New ITU initiative to safeguard the most vulnerable users of the Internet
  4. ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda: Towards an International Roadmap

Who:

  • President of Burkina Faso H.E. Mr Blaise Compaoré
  • President of Rwanda H.E. Mr Paul Kagame
  • ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré

Some 25 Ministers and leading policy makers, regulators and UN agencies will attend. See programme: www.itu.int/council/C2008/hls/programme.html

Read the Media Advisory...

 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 5:31:14 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 03, 2008
Smart Solutions to Global Emissions in ICT Sector

The ever expanding Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributes two per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions and this is all set to double in the future. Few know the emissions from the sector are as high as aviation, one of the worst offenders.

Yet ICT can come to the rescue of the problem with smart solutions that are energy efficient, according to a new report by a U.K.-based, independent non-profit organisation, The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

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Monday, November 03, 2008 8:57:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
U.N. Chief Urges Climate Change Help Despite Slowdown
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged developed countries not to neglect climate change as they tend to a global economic slowdown and called on rich nations to help poor countries prone to global warming.

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Monday, November 03, 2008 8:51:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 02, 2008
ICT to Steer Economic Growth and Climate Change

ITU has called for increased emphasis on key areas that could drive economic growth including Information Communications Technology- ICTs and climate change.

The suggestion came at the end of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The meeting resolved to recognize that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to moderate climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce green house gas - GHG emissions across all industry sectors.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008 11:06:58 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008
Take a Glimpse Into The Future

What does the future hold? What will life be like in 2031? Of course no one really knows. But there is a man whose job it is to look ahead.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:46:01 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 29, 2008
China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change

The Information Office of China's State Council on Wednesday issued a white paper titled "China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change".

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:27:53 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
High Level Segment of ITU Council 2008 (Geneva, 12-13 November) will focus on climate change and cybersecurity

The High-Level Segment (HLS) follows the opening of Council and is designed to provide Ministers and Councillors with an opportunity to exchange views on issues of strategic importance to the Union and on emerging trends in the sector.

This year, speakers will offer their perspectives on different topics around two main themes: Climate Change and ICTs and Cybersecurity
 

Further details on sessions and speakers available in the High Level Segment 2008 Programme

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:53:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Future Role of ICT in Meeting Operational Challenges in Energy Utilities

Shifting By Degrees To A Modern World

A Datamonitor whitepaper prepared for Alcatel Lucent was published in September 2008.

Energy utilities are operating in an environment where significant market and operational challenges exist. The deployment and implementation of appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions plays an intrinsic role in meeting these challenges.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:10:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
African Nations Urged to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission

The Global Standards Symposium that ended in Johannesburg, South Africa has called for measures to limit the emission of greenhouse gases using information communications technology.

African governments were urged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprints while ensuring that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner.

ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was also asked to research into the impacts of Information Communications Technology - ICTs on the reduction of greenhouse gas - GHG emissions.

Malcolm Johnson, ITU-T Director,  noted that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had underscored the need for ITU to play a significant role in addressing climate change terming it the moral challenge of our times. "Industry is faced with probably its biggest ever challenge but also its biggest ever opportunity in terms of corporate social responsibility. There is the challenge for the ICT industry to limit its own emissions, but also the opportunity to maximize its potential to help other sectors reduce their emissions. This could make for a tremendously good news story for the ICT industry," said Johnson.

Find more about ITU actvities on climate change.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:04:52 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Green ICT: Banking on a Software Solution to Climate Change

Information and communication technology firms are at the forefront of reducing our carbon footprint, and they are set to reap the rewards.

As businesses scramble to reduce their energy consumption internally and across supply chains, the information and communication technology sector stands to gain significantly. Holding the keys to smart information management, green ICT systems are being heralded by governments and NGOs as the climate-change solution.

Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist to software giant Microsoft, says, “Software can deliver an alternative to fossil fuels.” In other words, for ICT companies the nascent green market looks like a very attractive place to invest.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:00:39 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
EU’s Climate Change Role May Be Weakened By Credit Crisis
Just recently, European Union countries agreed to maintain their targets and schedule to tackle climate change. But once again, Europe’s leadership in tackling climate change may be weakened by the credit crisis as Italy, Poland, Latvia and others at the EU meeting last week threatened to veto Europe’s carbon plan unless they were softened, New York Times reports.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:57:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Top Global Businesses Gather for UN ‘Caring for Climate’ Initiative

United Nations-backed “Caring for Climate” gathering today is drawing representatives from more than 150 corporations, civil society organizations and governments from around the world to discuss business solutions to the problem of global warming and speed up action on climate change. The UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the “Caring for Climate” scheme last year, with chief executive officers (CEOs) of 150 companies – including 30 from the Fortune Global 500 – signing on.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:58:19 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Climate-Change Body Holds First Irish Meeting

Opening the three-day session, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan said it was "a great honour for Ireland" to host the meeting. "Climate change is a global problem and will only be solved by countries working together," he added.

"We need to develop the technology to help us in this task", the Minister said. "Developing countries are bearing the brunt of climate change; industrialised countries should work with them for a common solution to a problem that affects all of us." "The negotiations on technology have come to the fore of the international negotiations, and I hope that the meetings in Dublin this week help move us towards an equitable and effective global agreement on climate change."

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:54:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Japan to Introduce Voluntary Carbon Market

The Japanese government said Tuesday that it would introduce a voluntary carbon market based on companies' pledged emissions cuts and hoped that thousands of firms would sign up to what could become a forerunner of a mandatory cap-and-trade project. The project, once it is up and running next year, is expected to be the broadest emissions market in the country.

But some say it still falls short of what Japan needs to make deep emission cuts and could backfire. Japan has been reluctant to impose mandatory limits on emissions. Despite being one of the world's most energy-efficient countries, Japan, like all wealthy nations, has come under increasing pressure from developing countries to pledge deeper cuts in emissions as part of a global effort to tackle climate change.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:52:28 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Chief: Climate Change is World's Defining Issue

Calling global warming "the defining issue of our time," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged immediate international action to counteract the "imminent threat" of climate change.

In a wide-ranging speech this afternoon at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Ban said it was crucial to ratify an international treaty on greenhouse-gas emissions before the Kyoto Accord expires in 2012.

Climate change "is no longer theory, it has become a fact," he told an audience of several hundred. "We cannot afford to delay any action."

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:23:26 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Global Standards Symposium Meets in Johannesburg

The first-ever Global Standards Symposium concluded yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa, with broad agreement on the need to take aggressive action to streamline standards work and end the duplication of efforts within the sector. The one-day symposium brought together government ministers, diplomats, senior executives from the private sector and lead officials from other standards bodies.

Opening the Symposium, ITU standards chief Malcolm Johnson noted that without global standards the ICT world would be a very different place. "Imagine a world with no Internet or no telephone calling from one side of the world to the other. Literally thousands of standards pin together this framework of technologies that keeps the world's businesses and consumers connected," Johnson said, adding that clarity and efficiency must be brought to bear as the standardization scenario gets more complex by the day.

"We must ensure we all pull together and avoid duplication of effort and waste our increasingly limited resources. Even large organizations are having difficulty resourcing this effort, so how can small organizations, especially from developing countries, hope to play a role?"

Addressing Global Challenges

Participants at the Global Standards Symposium also addressed ICTs and climate change, increasing developing country participation in the standardization process, and accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities. Delegates were called on to set an example by committing to specific programs to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduce their carbon footprint and help ensure that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner.

The importance of the work of the ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was recognized; in particular the need for a standardized approach to measuring the impact of ICTs on the reduction of GHG emissions. Malcolm Johnson noted that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had underlined ITU's role in addressing climate change.

 "From a standardization perspective, ITU has already produced a checklist for standards authors to ensure climate change is taken into account in the development of our standards," Johnson said. "Industry is faced with probably it's biggest ever challenge but also its biggest every opportunity in terms of corporate social responsibility. There is the challenge for the ICT industry to limit its own emissions, but also the opportunity to maximize its potential to help other sectors reduce their emissions. This could make for a tremendously good news story for the ICT industry."

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change and the Global Standards Symposium

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:03:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Children Artists to Join Forces with UN to Combat Climate Change in New York on 23 October 2008

Young artists from around the world are lending their support to global efforts to combat climate change through Paint for the Planet , an exhibit and auction of children’s art to be held in New York starting on 23 October 2008. The event will spur the ‘UNite to Combat Climate Change’ campaign to support the call for a definitive agreement at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.

Read more...                     

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:23:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Climate Change Accelerating Far Beyond the IPCC Forecast, WWF says

Climate change is happening much faster than the world's best scientists predicted and will wreak havoc unless action is taken on a global scale, a new report warns.

Extreme weather events such as the hot summer of 2003, which caused an extra 35,000 deaths across southern Europe from heat stress and poor air quality, will happen more frequently.

The report says that the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - a study of global warming by 4,000 scientists from more than 150 countries which alerted the world to the possible consequences of global warming - is now out of date. WWF's report, Climate Change: Faster, stronger, sooner, has updated all the scientific data and concluded that global warming is accelerating far beyond the IPCC's forecasts.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:15:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 17, 2008
Global response needed to tackle ‘daunting’ development challenges, Migiro says
Concerted international action is crucial in addressing development challenges, whose scope has intensified in recent months due to climate change, soaring food and energy prices and the global financial turmoil, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said on 14 October 2008.

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Friday, October 17, 2008 1:22:20 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Summit of Regions to be held in Saint Malo, France (29-30 October 2008)

While France has made energy and climate one of the priorities of its Presidency of the European Union and the UN is preparing a new global climate conference to take place in December in Poznañ, the Regional Council of Brittany and the international nrg4SD network will bring together, in Saint-Malo, 450 representatives of Regions, States, the European Union, NGOs, civil society and several UN agencies. The United Nations has expressed specific interest in this proactive and innovative regional-scale approach for the first time. 

Find out more about World Summit of Regions.

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Friday, October 17, 2008 12:01:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008
World Standards Day Focus On Sustainable Buildings

World Standards Day is celebrated each year on October 14 to pay tribute to the efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to develop voluntary international standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technological advances.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:59:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 15, 2008
European leaders timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package today

European leaders are timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package at the EU Summit today, Wednesday 15 October 2008. Under the terms of the plan approved by Parliament last week, faster pricing of emissions allowances could be adopted to encourage cleaner, greener industry - power stations will have to buy their pollution allowances from 2013 (instead of getting any for free) and heavy industry permits will be phased out from 2013. Offsets were cut significantly, and bold new longer-term targets of 50% emissions reductions by 2035 and 60-80% by 2050 were set. For the first time, an emissions ceiling was set to stop dirty coal-fired power and significant funds were allocated to help developing countries go green, as well as research into carbon capture.

The EU's climate and energy package proposes key reforms to the emissions trading scheme after 2012, measures to cut non-industrial emissions, and the creation of a legal framework to promote technology to capture and store carbon from coal-fired power stations. However, recent concerns over the financial crisis have threatened to push the climate and energy package down the policy agenda and approval by European leaders is not yet guaranteed. 

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:59:56 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 13, 2008
Press Conference on Negotiations Towards Global Climate Change Agreement

The credit crisis should be seen as an opportunity to rebuild the world financial system in a way that underpins “green” growth, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told correspondents at a Headquarters press conference last Friday.

Governments now have an opportunity to create and enforce policy which stimulates private competition to fund clean industry,” Mr. de Boer said, as he briefed on the upcoming Poznan Conference and other negotiations towards a new post-Kyoto Protocol climate change agreement that must be finalized by December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. [The Protocol’s first commitment period ends on 31 December 2012, and international talks began late last year on a subsequent deal on specific outlooks in greenhouse gas emissions].

Global energy demand would grow by 55 per cent by 2030, he said, and in the period leading up to that date, worldwide energy supply infrastructure required a total investment of $22 trillion, with about half of that needed in developing countries. If those investments were not directed towards green investment, there would be a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions, rather than the necessary decrease, he stressed.

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Monday, October 13, 2008 12:50:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ministers in Warsaw to Address Climate Change

Environment ministers from more than 30 countries are holding talks in the Polish capital this week to prepare for a major U.N. climate conference. The two days of informal meetings in Warsaw that start Monday mark the first time top-ranking officials from the key players in the climate change debate — including the United States, the European Union, India and China — have gathered since hard-nosed international talks last December in Bali, Indonesia.

Poland is preparing to host the U.N. climate summit in December with delegates from more than 190 countries in the western Polish city of Poznan. That conference aims to work out the details of a climate change accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

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Monday, October 13, 2008 12:42:41 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Says Credit Crisis Could Enable "Green Growth"

UNITED NATIONS - Instead of sidelining the fight against climate change, the global credit crisis could hasten countries' efforts to create "green growth" industries by revamping the financial system behind them, the UN climate chief said on Friday.

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Monday, October 13, 2008 12:40:11 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 09, 2008
Smarter Technology Use Could Reduce Global Emissions by 15%

Transformation in the way people and businesses use technology could reduce annual man-made global emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 and deliver energy efficiency savings to global businesses of over EUR 500 billion [GBP 400 billion / USD 800 billion], according to a new report published by independent non-profit The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

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Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:27:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 06, 2008
Drivers of Broadband in Latin America

As reported by BN Americas, the incoming Vice President of Sales & Customer Services Joe Manuele of Actelis, the Californian-based Ethernet over copper provider, has observed that they are seeing a big boom in broadband in Latin America driven by triple play, 3G and web 2.0 applications. Many operators are moving away from legacy-based ATM DSLAMs (network devices that receive signals from DSL lines and backhaul them to a central office) towards new IP DSLAMs.  Actelis' technology uses advanced digital techniques to provide backhaul from DSLAMs to the central office with Ethernet quality using existing legacy copper infrastructure, rather than fiber. Operators can benefit as they can meet growing demand for bandwidth from 3G services, without having to invest in fiber.

"Everyone is really spooked about the cost of oil and the cost of travel", Manuele observed. "All these new services like teleconferencing and telepresence over IP require very high speeds and symmetrical traffic, which have to be bidirectional. So we're launching services with carriers that are offering web 2.0 applications using [existing] copper infrastructure.  Actelis' "Ethernet bonding capabilities over copper" allow carriers to reach speeds of up to 100Mbps for symmetrical data transport, making bandwidth hungry applications - such as telepresence - possible over copper.  Actelis is backhauling DSL and WiMax traffic.

Such technology could boost the use of teleconferencing and telepresence over existing infrastructure, reducing the need for business travel and hence the carbon footprint of executive travel.  For more information, see here.

Monday, October 06, 2008 8:48:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, September 13, 2008
ITU TELECOM Asia 2008 - Interview with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Toure

Video: Interview with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré is interviewed by Tony Poulos from TelecomTV on the theme of ITU Telecom Asia 2008: New Generation, New Values.

Dr Touré explains how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), being the tools for all other sectors of economy, are key to achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Other subjects such as climate change and cybersecurity are also discussed in the course of the interview. [Full video interview...]

 

Saturday, September 13, 2008 8:22:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum to address climate change - Business opportunities seen in adopting environment-friendly ICT

Climate change is a global challenge that demands urgent attention. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are vital instruments in monitoring the spread of global warming as well as part of the solution in promoting carbon displacement technologies. At the same time, in an increasingly ‘switched on’ society, ICTs are also becoming a part of the cause of global warming. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this is set to increase as ICT usage expands globally.

New technologies that increase efficiencies provide opportunities for monitoring and protecting the environment, mitigating the effects of global warming and adapting to climate change. In its commitment to connecting the world, ITU advances a green ICT agenda and leads environment-friendly initiatives to monitor climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of ICT while enabling other sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [More...]

Monday, August 04, 2008 9:39:10 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 11, 2008
ITU responds to industry call to accelerate work on cleaner and greener environment - New group to focus on the impact of ICT and climate change

Responding to an industry call, ITU has set up a new group to work on standards related to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on climate change. The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings.

Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December 1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. It is estimated that the ICT sector produces between two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But ICTs are also seen as a part of the solution to the climate change challenge.

ICTs could help cut global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent, depending on the methodology used to make these estimates. Two recent ITU symposia on ICTs and climate change in Kyoto in April and in London in June this year drew attention to the wide variation in these estimates. A key objective of the Focus Group will be to develop internationally agreed methodologies to describe and estimate the impact of ICTs on climate change, both directly and through their application in other industry sectors... [More... ]

Friday, July 11, 2008 7:08:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 08, 2008
BBC Radio - Digital Planet: Interview with Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Standardization Sector of ITU

Reducing energy consumption is on the agenda at the G8 summit in Japan. Gareth from BBC Radio speaks to Malcolm Johnson, from the International Telecommunication Union, about the global issues facing technology providers and users... [Interview]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:00:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |