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Upcoming UN forums to focus on using technology to combat climate change

Upcoming UN forums to focus on using technology to combat climate change

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High-level experts from industry, government and academia are set to convene at United Nations meetings in Japan and the United Kingdom to examine how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used to combat the global challenge of climate change.

Organized by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change will take place in Kyoto from 15 to 16 April and in London from 17 to 18 June.

“Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “ITU is committed to achieving climate neutrality and to working with our membership to promote the use of ICTs as an effective tool to combat climate change.”

ICTs are estimated to contribute some 2 to 2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that is likely to grow as technology becomes more widely available.

However, they can also be an important tool in efforts to combat climate change, especially through the development of more energy efficient devices, applications and networks, and their environmentally sound disposal. “ICT can therefore be a key enabler to a low carbon economy while also promoting growth,” according to the ITU.

“We have already seen in ITU a phenomenal level of effort put into finding ways to reduce power consumption in ICT networks and devices, as well as looking at ways that ICTs can help other industries contribute to this global challenge,” stated Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s standardization arm.

Recent ITU activities related to climate change include a workshop examining how ICTs in vehicles can help mitigate and monitor climate change and a series of tutorials on reducing energy consumption in the technology sector.