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ITU Secretary General´s Declaration

Photo: ITU Secretary-General

"Climate Change is a global challenge that the world cannot afford to lose"

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré
ITU Secretary-General

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Climate Change is the global challenge of our time


A change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere..." 1

Although there are various opinions on Climate Change and what to do about it, the scientific body of evidence that human activity is having an impact on the earth's climate is almost irrefutable.

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) appear to be driving climate change
, hence the need to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

No one knows for sure what the ultimate effects will be of a drastically changing climate, but it is likely to include world-wide flooding, loss of species and habitat and unpredictable weather. In any case, Climate Change poses a serious problem to the entire planet.

ICTs are part of the Solution
It is estimated that ICTs contribute around 2-2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These percentages are likely to grow as ICTs become more widely available.

At the same time, ICTs can significantly help reduce climate change by:

  • promoting the development of more energy efficient devices, applications and networks;
  • encouraging environmentally friendly design; and
  • reducing the carbon footprint in its own industry, ICTs promise to drastically reduce GHG emissions.

ITU is acting on climate change

Active in the area of climate change for well over a decade, ITU is now making climate change a key priority, with strategies to:
  • Reduce the environmental impact through:
    o The creation of a standard methodology for calculating carbon footprint
    o The promotion of NGNs (reducing power consumption by up to 40%)
    o Online vs. print publications

  • Harness the power of ICTs through:
    o Remote collaboration
    o Intelligent transport systems
    o Sensor-based networks based on RFID & telemetry

  • Monitor climate change by:
    o Conducting and managing studies on remote-sensing
    o Providing key climate data via radio-based applications

To solve today's climate problems ITU will work closely with its membership to lead efforts in achieving a climate neutral ICT industry.

ITU's Role    |    ITU Strategy    |    ITU's Engagement   |    ITU SG Declaration

The United Nations Framework convention on Climate Change

2 The Climate Group/GeSI report:
"Smart 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age"

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Updated : 2011-07-26