ITU's Engagement: ICTs and Clean Technology
As the preeminent global body for standardization in the field of ICTs, ITU
will work to limit and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and
foster sustainable development, in particular by promoting the use of more
energy efficient devices and networks and the development of technical standards
(Recommendations) to limit and reduce the power requirements of ICT equipment
and services. Work also focuses on the mitigation of climate change in other
industries – including the automotive sector – using ICTs.
- Focus Group on
ICTs and Climate Change (FG ICT&CC): The Focus Group on ICTs and
Climate Change was established by TSAG at its 2-9 July 2008 meeting. The
Focus Group will identify from the standardization viewpoint, within the
competences of ITU-T, the impact of ICTs on Climate Change, in particular
the reduction of ICT’s own emissions over their entire lifecycle (direct
impact), the mitigation that follows through the adoption of ICTs in other
relevant sectors (indirect impact), and facilitating the monitoring of
relevant climate parameters.
- Promote adoption of a resolution at WTSA-08 to require all new
Recommendations to be checked against energy saving and environmental
criteria, and include target reduction percentage on energy requirements
over the following study period.
- ITU-T is coordinating the organization of two ITU
Symposia on ICTs and
Climate Change, which will take place in Kyoto, 15-16 April and in London
17-18 June 2008, with the results feeding into relevant meetings such as the
OECD ministerial, the G8 summit in Japan, the UNFCCC and in particular
WTSA-08. A call for papers/speakers has been issued, a resources website
developed, and the first coordination meeting (by teleconference) was held
on 21 Jan.
- Through its Technology Watch function, ITU-T has issued a series of
briefing papers relevant to climate change, on the topics of ICTs and
climate change, telepresence (high-performance videoconferencing) and
intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The climate change paper was
reviewed by TSAG at its Dec 2007 meeting and adopted as a basis for
launching a work programme in this area.
- At its Dec 2007 meeting, TSAG approved a Liaison Statement to all ITU-T
Study Groups (TSAG-LS-30), which invites them to assess all existing and new
Recommendations in the light of climate change.
- On-going work standardization work on Next-Generation Networks (NGN) is
being conducted through the NGN Global Standards Initiative. It is estimated
that NGNs could reduce energy requirements by up to 40 per cent compared
with today’s networks through a combination of reduced number of switching
centres, more modern equipment with multiple power modes (e.g., VDSL2+),
reduced requirements for air-conditioning, support for advance services, and
more efficient routing of traffic.
ITU-R SG 6 (Broadcasting service) developed Recommendation ITU-R
BT.1306-3, which serves as the basis for switching from analogue
broadcasting to digital broadcasting. This new radio technology allows a
significant reduction of the power consumption and, consequently, will
significantly reduce GHG emissions over the World.
- Based on ITU-R Recommendations the
Conference 2006 (RRC-06), which involved 120 countries, developed a new
digital broadcasting Plan GE06. GE06 Plan envisages significant reduction
(by almost 10 times) of transmitter power and reduction of the number of
transmitters (due to the possibility of transmitting several TV and sound
programmes in one channel) Taking into account that there are roughly one
hundred thousands transmitters in these countries with power of up to
100-150 kW each, most of them operating 24 hours a day the energy savings
will be very much important.
- The decision of the
World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07) to
publish series of maritime Service Publications in electronic form from 2011
(Resolution 335(WRC-07)) will save about 300 tonnes of paper per year as
well as reduce the carbon emissions from transporting paper copies.
- ITU-T has organized a series of “Fully networked car” workshops, the
third edition of which will be held at Palexpo, Geneva, 5-7 March 2008, and
includes a session devoted to ICTs and the environment.
SG 5 (Terrestrial Services) developed
ITU-R “Intelligent Transport
System” - Handbook on Land Mobile (including wireless), Volume 4, which
describes the use of radio technologies for minimizing transportation
distances and cost with the positive effect on environment.
- In order to facilitate introduction of new radio technologies and with
the aim to reduce power consumption and GHG emissions, ITU-R in cooperation
with ITU-D regularly organize regional seminars on the use of new radio
technologies and application of Radio Regulations and Regional Agreements
for new radiocommunication systems.
- The ITU-T Director represented ITU and the International Conference to
Combat Desertification, in Beijing, January 2008.
- ITU-T SG 2 (Operational aspects of service provision, networks and
performance) is working on the standardization of call priority in emergency
situations (e.g., Recommendation E.106 on the International Emergency
Preference System for disaster relief). One of the outcomes of this work is
the assignment of a special E.164 country code (888) to the United Nations
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for the purpose
of facilitating the provision of an international system of naming and
addressing for terminals involved in disaster relief activities. Work has
started for the coordination of the assignment of channel numbers for cell
broadcast alert messages in mobile networks. ITU-T, under the leadership of
SG 2, coordinates the Partnership Coordination Panel on Telecommunications
for Disaster Relief (PCP-TDR).
- ITU-T SG 6 (Outside plant and related indoor installations) is
considering, inter alia, environmental and safety procedures for outside
plant, including the recycling copper and optical cables materials.
- ITU-T SG 15 (Optical and other transport network infrastructures) is
preparing a technical paper (“Energy-saving checklist for standardization
activities”) investigating ways to reduce the power consumption of
telecommunications equipment. The widespread availability of broadband
access is facilitating the wider use of telecommuting. The paper is expected
to be adopted at the Feb 2008 meeting, where a series of tutorials on
energy-saving will be held, from 13-15 February. SG15 has also pioneered the
use of questionnaire surveys as a prompt to standards-developers for
- ITU-T SG 16 (Multimedia terminals, systems and applications) is of
particular importance in terms of standards for remote collaboration, such
as the H series of ITU-T Recommendations on audiovisual and multimedia
systems, including video-conferencing, which provide a means for people to
collaborate at a distance without needing to travel.
- ITU-T Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunications
software) has developed a new Recommendation X.1303, jointly with OASIS,
which provides the basis for a common alerting protocol for use in advance
of impending threats, such as tsunamis, typhoons or earthquakes.
More about ITU's activities