ITU pushes for green recognition

ICT can help save the planet

The announcement was made during a virtual international symposium on ICTs and climate change, hosted by ITU and the Korea Communications Commission, which was supposed to offer many of the benefits of physical participation without the environmental costs.

Over 500 people participated from around 50 countries, with speakers and moderators from China, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

The ITU has been promoting the role that ICT can play in mitigating climate change, and has participated in preparatory meetings on the Copenhagen Agreement in Bangkok and Barcelona, in an effort to have the importance of ICT recognised in the final text.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, has already acknowledged that: "ITU is one of the very important stakeholders in the area of climate change."

Dr Hamadoun Tour, ITU secretary-general, speaking from UN headquarters in New York, thanked Korea for hosting the event, noting: "Korea can be proud in having dedicated some 80 per cent of the national $38bn fiscal stimulus package to green measures - the highest percentage in the world. Nearly a million green jobs will be created in Korea in the next four years."

Malcolm Johnson, director of ITU's telecommunication standardisation bureau, said: "By harnessing the power of ICT we have saved hundreds of tons of CO2. When we consider that every week there are international conferences involving thousands of participants, virtual events such as this would have a huge impact on emissions."

Participants at the virtual event agreed that global effort to combat climate change should not impede the economic and social growth of developing countries and that bringing the benefits of ICT to all citizens is fundamental to tackling climate change.

ITU's telecommunication standardisation sector has pioneered an internationally agreed methodology for calculating the impact of ICT on greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycle. A newly formed ITU-T study group on environment and climate change is converting this methodology into a formal global standard.

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