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Home : ITU-T Home : Workshops and Seminars : Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change
 ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change
 Montreal, Canada, 29-31 May 2012 Contact:


Using ICT for adaption rather than mitigation to climate change: Bill St-Arnaud, St-Arnaud & Walker Associates

To date most efforts addressing Climate Change have been focused on mitigation strategies such as increasing energy efficiency and/or using renewable energy sources. Even where there is political and public acceptance for Climate Change a number of economists argue that the public will never be prepared to make the huge sacrifices and substantial investments to avoid the worst possible outcomes. As such many scientists and policy makers are starting to argue we need to seriously think the unthinkable: we are unlikely to undertake any meaningful reduction in GHG emission and consequently we must prepare ourselves and society as a whole to adapt to a much warmer planet. ICT industry therefore must undertake to develop technologies to be survivable an environment of extreme weather and also help other sectors adapt to a much more warmer planet with the inevitable destruction of agricultural lands and coastal flooding.
Can ICT Beat CO2?: Daniel Gagne, Bell Canada

We know that ICT has the potential to play a central and active role in the challenge against climate change by enabling carbon reduction from dematerialization, virtualization, transport substitution, smarter use of resources and in many other ways. However, the ICT sector itself has its own challenges optimizing the energy efficiency of its systems, products and services, while minimizing their social and environmental impacts throughout their life cycle.

To unleash the full potential of ICT in bringing us closer to a low carbon economy, we first need to address both ends of this equation. To begin with, it is important that we create the conditions for a smarter use of ICT solutions, while at the same time relentlessly striving to limit undesired rebound effects. This presentation will provide concrete examples of how the above challenges can be achieved.
Greenpeace’s Cool IT Leaderboard, Renee Blanchard, Greenpeace

Just as the power of the internet has revolutionised our communication by allowing users to provide content such as video, music and text material, generating new producers, journalists and authors, IT energy-related ‘smart’ solutions have the ability to put consumers in command of their electricity use and pave the way for dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. Greenpeace’s own [E]nergy Revolution blueprint, which outlines a sustainable pathway for a transition to having 95% of global energy needs met by renewable energy by 2050, a significant disruption of the centralised dirty energy business model by ICT technologies is essential to achieving this goal.

Greenpeace’s CoolIT Leaderboard analyses 21 leading ICT companies on three categories: IT Climate Solutions, IT Energy Impact, and Political Advocacy. This year’s Leaderboard, released in February, saw top points go to Google, Cisco, Ericsson, and Fujitsu. Also, Japanese telecommunications company Softbank makes an impressive debut on the Cool IT Leaderboard, most notably for its tremendous leadership in clean energy policy advocacy in post-Fukushima Japan.
Focus on ICT Goods, Networks and services: Recommendation L.1410; Short overview on developments related to ICT projects and ICT in cities: Jean Manuel Canet, France Telecom/Orange

In the frame of the ITU-T Study Group "Environment and Climate Change", the Question on methodologies develops 6 Recommendations to assess the environmental impacts of the ICT sector. 3 Recommendations have been approved up to date and are now published. This speech will focus on the recently published Recommendation L.1410. L.1410 provides framework and guidance on the Life Cycle Assessment of ICT Goods, Networks and Services (Part I) and also on the comparative analysis between an ICT product system and a reference product system (Part II). A brief introduction on two other methodologies currently under development, to assess the impacts of ICT projects and ICT in cities, will also be provided.
Implications of Cloud Computing to Our Environment: Monique Morrow, Convener of the Joint Coordination Activity on Cloud Computing/ Cisco

What are the ICT factors specific to cloud computing that may impact the environment?

This question will be explored as to stimulate further discussion.

It should be noted that Cisco is focused not only in reducing the energy and overall environmental impact of ICTS that account for 2% of global GHG emissions, but also in the development and implementation of solutions that would improve efficiency in energy-intensive sectors for example: Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, TelePresence, etc. s to reduce reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2020 (per GeSI report).
Green Data Centers - Recommendation ITU-T L. 1300: Brief Overview: Paolo Gemma, Huawei

The presentation gives an overview of new recommendation L.1300 “Best practices for green data centers” approved by ITU last November. The document covers aspect and give suggestions on practices that can reduce the impact of a data center including: cooling solution management, selection of power equipment, selection of ICT equipment.

Also an overview of future activity on green data center in SG5 will be reported.
Greening ICT – Towards Zero-Carbon Networking: Pierre Boucher, Ericsson

Our society is progressing towards a new technological inflection point where we will be connecting "things" in addition to people and places. This networked society willbe more sustainable but will pose new challenges on ICT services and network infrastructure. We have been using Life Cycle Analysis to look at the impact on CO2 reduction of certain of these services, and preliminary results show that it can be significant. We further explore the impact of these new services on ICT data center and present a research project where network infrastructure resources can be used dynamically based on a follow the sun, follow the wind concept.
Main Goals and Activities of the ETNO Energy Task Force: Gianluca Griffa, Chairman of the Energy Efficiency Working Group, ETNO

The ETNO (European Telecommunication Network Operator) CORE Energy Task Force was created in 2004 by the signatories of the ETNO Sustainability Charter.

The Group is currently under the ETNO Sustainability WG and is focused on the following goals:
  • decrease further the energy consumption of the ICT branch
  • motivate society to make use of the existing potential of Green ICT
  • develop new solutions to increase the energy saving impact of ICT
The Group mainly develops benchmark activities and shares knowledge/best practices among its participants.

The presentation will give a brief overview of the main activities jointly performed by the ETNO ETF Group together with some examples of relevant energy saving projects performed by single members.
IT and Sustainable Cities: the Smarter Cities lens: Jean-Francois Barsoum, IBM

Jean-François will walk through several examples of how cities have started achieving measureable improvements in their sustainability metrics using the smarter cities approach, in water management, transportation management, or other aspect of environmental management. In addition, important lessons will be drawn from those projects; those who jump in without preparing carefully and bound to fall into well understood traps. Learn to spot and avoid them!
Intelligent Sustainability: ICT's Potential Contribution: Stephen Harper, Intel

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) consume resources, including energy and water, throughout the lifecycle from manufacturing through use to end-use disposal. Government regulations globally have focused on reducing those negative lifecycle impacts. Recently, however, data have accumulated documenting that ICTs can drive much larger positive lifecycle impacts via their use in other sectors to improve energy efficiency and water and other resource management. The Japanese refer to these impacts as “Green by ICT” as distinguished from “Green of ICT”, which focuses on improving the direct footprint of ICT devices. This presentation presents the data, provides specific examples of ICT applications that illustrate Green by ICT, and explores the critical role of enabling government policies in helping to realize the full solutions potential of ICT in both the energy and water arenas.
Defining the Sustainability of Cities: Keiichiro Nakanishi, Hitachi

How do you decide whether a city is sustainable? Although a number of concepts and definitions are suggested by diverse public and private entities, the metrics to evaluate the sustainability, smartness or eco-friendliness of cities has not yet standardized.

In 2012, as a reaction to this situation, ISO established a new subcommittee (TC268 SC1 "Smart Urban Infrastructure Metrics") which develops standards on metrics to assess the performance of urban infrastructures.

In this session, as one of the leading participants of ISO TC268 SC1, Keiichiro NAKANISHI introduces several existing city indicators and explains the background of the establishment of the subcommittee. He will also discuss its prospective activities.
A Case Study on the Assessment of Environmental Impact of ICT Services in Korea, Hyosik Min, SK Telecom

In order to measure the positive environmental impacts of ICT, we adopted the Part 2 of ITU-T L.1410 to 14 selected ICT services; Real-time Navigation, Bus Information System, e-Logistics, Telepresence, Home Energy Management System, Smart Grid, e-Commerce, e-Government, e-Civil Service, e-Health, Digital Contents (CD, books), Smart Motor (Industrial) and e-Learning. We developed its reference product system for each target ICT service and compared them by demonstrating expected enabling effects of ICT services. We estimated that the domestic GHG abatement by adopting ICT will be 5 times more than its direct footprint. Also, by prioritizing each enabler in terms of financial feasibility and ease of implementation, we concluded that 7 enablers including Real-time Navigation and e-Commerce had the highest potential for GHG reduction.
Work of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Affecting Environment: David Su, NIST, USA

The National Institute of Standards and Technology initiated the SGIP to coordinate development of standards for the smart grid. The SGIP has over 760 member organizations world wide, including many international standards developing organizations such as the ITU. This talk will introduce some of its focus areas that will reduce the environmental impacts, such in integration of power generation using renewable resources, and the Green Button initiative.
Strategy and Experience of Network Operator on Smart Grid: Hyungsoo Kim, Smart Grid Department, KT

This talk will introduce that Smart Grid is expecting a future growth engine for network operators. It can be achieved through 3 types of convergence with ICT industry ; network, service and terminal. Based on 2 field trials (Jeju and K-MEG), KT has realized its technologies and businesses.
Thoughts on Electronics Reuse and Recycling: Sean Nicholson, Microsoft

Learn about refurbisher programs that collect and give a second life to used electronics, along with opinions on current issues and possible solutions to not only increase e-waste collection and processing but also create economic opportunities and possible ways to reduce the explosive growth of hazardous e-waste.
Earth Observations: Foundational for Understanding and Predicting Environmental Change: Jim Abraham, DG Monitoring Meteorological Service of Canada

The Meteorological Service of Canada is responsible for weather, water and climate services in Canada. Seven Storm Prediction Centres are responsible for the delivery of mission critical severe weather warnings, which are prepared and disseminated for protection of life and property. These services depend on an important earth observation system. Being such a large country, Canada is reliant on a variety of remote sensing and automated observing platforms to monitor the state of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere.
ICTs to Monitor the Climate: Edva Altemar, Conatel, Haiti

• Climate change
• Biogeography of haitian republic
• The haitian climate change
• Environment management
• ICT to monitoring climate : What we use in Haiti
• Recommendations
The Use of Next-Generation Weather Technologies to Manage the Impact of our Changing Climate: James Anderson, Earth Networks

Throughout the world, climate change and severe weather are impacting people and societies at unprecedented scales. Earth Networks is a global technology leader with solutions that address the most pressing weather-related challenges facing communities worldwide. Earth Networks operates the largest global weather information network to provide early warning of severe weather events and cost-effective radar and forecasting tools for monitoring of severe weather and heavy precipitation events.

Since the 1970s, 95% of fatalities from extreme weather have occurred in the developing world, and overall, $200B is lost annually due to severe weather. Amazingly, an estimated 6.5 billion people in the world lack access to quality weather information and warnings. Yet there are 6 billion mobile phones in use. Earth Networks has the technology to cost-effectively provide people with finger-tip access to real-time weather information and warnings delivered through mobile SMS, smartphone, email, and desktop messaging services for improved public safety as well as agricultural operations.

This presentation will highlight new technologies enabling advanced weather alerting and a cost effective-radar alternative delivering improved early warning of severe weather and precipitation events. Discussion will also be provided on the use of weather information in agricultural operations for improved productivity and crop yield.
Undersea Technology & Tools: Maurice Kordahi, TESubcom

Several custom undersea tools and technologies are being introduced to provide interconnectivity between different applications and users throughout the world. Trade-offs and risks are some of the issues highlighted here.
Subsea Cables and Data from the Deep Ocean: Peter Phibbs, Chief Engineer, NEPTUNE Canada

The global nature of today’s Information Communications Technology is made possible by the transmission of data through fibre optic cables. To bridge the oceans, the fibre optic cables are run on the seabed. These subsea fibre optic cables represent man’s only long term presence in the deep ocean.

The world’s oceans cover over 70% of the planet’s surface. Any attempt to understand long term planetary processes will be unsuccessful unless they include consideration of not just the surface, but the depths of these oceans.

Many countries around the world have identified the need for better understanding of ocean processes, and have started to build cabled ocean observatories to begin to collect time series data from some parts of the deep ocean. These efforts were led by JAMSTEC, whose latest observatory, DONET, is now on line. Japan has now been joined by other countries including Canada (NEPTUNE Canada and VENUS), the Europeans (EMSO) and Taiwan (MACHO), and will soon be joined by USA (RSN of the OOI).

This presentation will consider the opportunities offered by subsea telecommunications technology to enhance mankind’s understanding of the deep ocean, and consider some of the issues related to support of instruments on dedicated networks and on third party telecommunications systems.
Perspectives from the UN Climate Change Conference 2011 - Durban, South Africa: Kevin Grose, UNFCCC

The video presentation will highlight key messages and examples from the 1 December 2011 side event in Durban organized by the Climate Change Secretariat on “Climate change adaptation and ICTs - enabling innovative strategies.

The video draws on the work and research of the University of Manchester, Tata Consultancy Services, Microsoft Corporation and the International Telecommunications Union that provide concrete examples of how ICTs are being used at national, sectoral and community levels in developing countries as part of larger integrated approaches. Tata Consultancy Services provides details of its “mKRISHI” programme that provides farmers with practical information using mobile phones, while Microsoft focuses on how to reduce water and energy consumption through “Eye on the Earth” cloud computing among other examples. ITU is taking forward a pilot project in Ghana that brings together government ministries and private sector partners.

Speakers from the government of South Africa and ITU address policy concerns, while the Climate Change Secretariat focuses on current opportunities for action on adaptation with the UNFCCC process.
ICTs and Climate Change Adaptation: The e-Resilience Approach: Angelica Valeria Ospina, Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester

Amidst the unmistakable signs of a changing global climate, the challenges faced by developing countries to overcome poverty and marginalisation are rapidly intensifying. The magnitude and uncertainty of climate change-related impacts pose the need for innovative responses and increased resilience of developing countries, in order to better withstand, recover from, and adapt to the changing conditions.

Within this context, the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is starting to emerge and to shed light on new approaches to respond, prepare for, and adapt to climate change impacts. Emerging experiences from vulnerable communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean suggest that the use of applications such as mobile phones and the Internet can contribute to climate change responses, including the strengthening of local livelihoods, access to relevant information and networking opportunities, training and awareness raising, among others.

The objective of this presentation is to explore and foster discussion about the role of ICTs towards climate change adaptation, particularly through their contribution to building resilience to climate change.

The concept of ‘e-resilience’ will be introduced as an emerging area of study to understand how innovative ICT tools and approaches can strengthen the response of vulnerable systems to the challenges and uncertainty posed by climate change. The presentation will also identify some of the key opportunities and challenges for these tools in enhancing community and national resilience, as well as emerging areas of inquiry in this field.

As research at the intersection of ICTs, climate change and development continues to evolve, the analysis of ‘e-resilience’ can provide us with valuable insights into the role of ICT tools to strengthen the adaptive capacities and livelihood strategies of developing contexts facing climatic uncertainty.

The presentation will be based on the findings of the ‘Climate Change, Innovation and ICTs’ project, a two-year applied research initiative to generate practice-based evidence on the potential of ICTs to respond to the challenges posed by climate change in developing countries, led by the Centre for Development Informatics at the University of Manchester with the support of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
ITU-Development Sector Study Question on Emergency Communications: Kelly O’Keefe, Chair of the ITU-D Study Group on Emergency Communications

This presentation will provide an overview of the work of the ITU-Development Sector Study Question on Emergency Communications, focusing on published reports, case studies, a planned online toolkit, and opportunities for governments and private sector members to become involved in the work of the group.
A Multi-stakeholder Approach to Emergency Telecommunications: Patrick Masambu, International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)

The 150 country member organization, International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), which was originally established in 1964 under the acronym “INTELSAT”, underwent a major restructuring exercise in 2001in order to guarantee long term sustainability. The result of the process was the establishment of the private company “Intelsat” , whilst ITSO remained as the intergovernmental entity with a revised mandate.

The unique role that ITSO has been placed in following the above outcome, has been leveraged to establish an example of a multi-stakeholder partnership between international organizations, governments and the private sector (ITU, ITSO and Intelsat) that can be very effectively used to respond to emergency telecommunication needs through use of satellite technology. This presentation is a brief description of what has been done to make this multi-stakeholder involvement possible.
Satellite Communications for Disaster Preparedness, Early Warning and Response: Donna Bethea-Murphy, Iridium Communications

Given their suitability and reliability, satellite communications applications are considered critical tools for governments and relief organizations when responding to a disaster. In addition to uses for disaster response, satellite-enabled applications are currently used in support of environmental monitoring systems that provide advance warnings of any danger. For example, in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, a U.S. tsunami warning network was able to provide detailed information on the ensuing tsunami by relaying sea level data to warning centers using the Iridium constellation.

This presentation will provide an overview of satellite communications for disaster preparedness, early warning and response including a review of new applications and consideration of best practices in deployment of satellite communications for disasters.
Implementation of the Emergency Alert System in Chile: Eduardo Galvez, Subtel

The earthquake (8.8 Richter) and tsunami on the morning of February 27, 2010 deeply impacted the lives of Chileans people. Chile is a seismic country and surrounded by coasts. For this reason, the country must be prepared for new emergencies.

In this matter, specifically communications and telecommunications services of voice, data and text messaging play a fundamental role. Although, communication failures on February 27, 2010 were evident, provided an opportunity to propose and implement structural changes to the procedures background and architecture of telecommunications to meet emergencies.

Under this situation, in the first half of 2010, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications signed with mobile network operators an agreement to broadcast freely by the public, the emergency alert messages, which will be generated by the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) to alert the population of a specific geographic area affected by states of disaster.
This implies the implementation of a free mass messaging for emergency alerts georeferenced System (Emergency Alert messages) using the functionality of mobile networks known as "cell broadcast service / system" (CBS). For the implementation of this system are necessary technological upgrades (software and hardware) in mobile networks, to capture and broadcast the message put cellular terminals to receive and deploy these communications. This initiative was incorporated by Law No. 20,478, on Recovery and Continuity Conditions Reviews Public Telecommunications System dated december 10, 2010.

After a public licitations process, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, assigned the licitation to the GLOBAL SYSTEMS CHILE SA company as the highest score obtained by the evaluation criteria defined in the respective licitation.

The company assigned, submitted in his offer as manufacturer and system integrator a eVIGILO company, entity with significant experience in Israel and European countries regarding the implementation of messaging systems under emergency conditions.

The Emergency Alert System in Chile will allow:

• Alert opportunely to the population about emergency situations.
• Have a mass alert system that is not affected by the congestion of public networks.
• Send alert messages to specific geographic areas.
• Generate messages centralized under the responsibility clearly defined by the Chile State.
• Process the events, signals or warning information.
• Develop various alert messages to the affected area.
• Automatically validate the alert messages (source, content, destination).
• Send messages to mobile networks of all technologies (2G, 3G, 4G).
• Interconnection with mobile networks for delivery of the message and the information associated with of warnings.
• Inform the population and save lives.

The System will selecting the geographic area affected, a group of people and / or an organization who direct the message, or other selection options, with the goal of sending messages and specific messages in a specific areas.

Currently, the system is integrated with the five mobile operators and verification phase forward messaging with each of them. In parallel, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications with the mobile operators are compatibility testing process of mobile terminals that support messaging system.

Additionally the integration of these systems with mobile phone networks, is considered his adaptation - interface with other services such as analog television, digital television, radios, sirens, signs on roads, social networks.

Undoubtedly, this is a significant step for Chile with respect to the implementation of mechanisms and centralized procedures, which involve a joint public - private partnership designed to communicate in a timely and clear to the people the basic instructions for protection of life and the coordination of public and private institutions should intervene in the management of aid in future emergencies, whatever their type.

Other initiatives to deal emergency situations in Chile are:

• Definition of Critical Infrastructure Telecommunications (fixed telephony, mobile telephony and internet).
• Expanding the capacity of sending text messages (SMS)
• Improve HF communications network.
• National Emergency Network Design.
• New regulatory standards associated with emergency management.


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