Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be with you here this morning, and to be able to
participate in this High-Level Segment.
As the Secretary-General of ITU, the leading UN agency for ICTs, I am very
positive about the establishment this week of an international framework to
guide the development of climate-related services – and, in particular, more
useful and accurate monitoring services.
The WCC-3 framework is a great help to us at ITU, as it clearly complements the
legal framework and treaties adopted by our Member States – namely the World
Radio Conference, the Radio Regulations and the ITU constitution and convention.
The framework is also valuable in emphasizing the vital role of ICTs in climate
science, and as a cross-cutting tool to address climate change.
The continuously increasing use of ICTs for environmental and climate monitoring
will greatly improve the quality of scientific data about the environment and
the climate, and will lead to more accurate modeling and better estimates of the
impact on climate change.
It will also have a direct impact on our ability to predict, prepare for and
react to emergencies and disasters – an area where ITU already cooperates very
closely with WMO.
ICTs are also essential in facilitating and improving the provision of accurate
and timely climate information to different economic sectors – such as tourism,
transport and agriculture.
ICTs are also a significant enabling technology in directly combating climate
change. Although they currently contribute 2-3% of global greenhouse gas
emissions, ICTs can reduce emissions in other sectors by at least 15%.
ICTs – such as virtual conferencing tools – can help cut back on travel, and
hence emissions, as well as the production of unnecessary paper.
And ITU’s work – particularly in the implementation of digital broadcasting and
the development of next generation networks – is also itself directly helping to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Digital broadcasting, for example, results in a massive – almost ten-fold –
reduction in the power consumption of broadcasting transmitters. And the actual
number of transmitters can also be reduced by transmitting several programmes in
one frequency channel.
Next generation networks, for their part, could reduce energy requirements by up
to 40%, compared with today’s networks, through a combination of fewer switching
centres, more modern equipment with multiple power modes, reduced requirements
for air-conditioning, support for advance services, and more efficient routing
I am confident that ITU and WMO will continue to work closely together, within
the context of the UN system, to ‘deliver as one’, with a principal focus on
ICTs and climate change.
There are many reasons why this is so important, but let me single out one which
is particularly close to my own heart: the commitment to human development which
we made, as UN Members, in 2000, in setting the Millennium Development Goals.
The impact of climate change seems certain to offset the progress being made to
meet the MDGs by 2015 – so it becomes all the more important to empower
developing countries by facilitating their access to ICTs.
The ICTs which are needed not just for social and economic development, but
which will also prove crucial for environmental and climate monitoring; for
adapting to climate change itself; and for helping to reduce the risk and impact