Universal phone charger approved

One plug to rule them all

The development of the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) should mean that the same charger design can be used for all future handsets, regardless of make and model. This should cut the number of chargers made, shipped and eventually discarded. It should also mean that it will become much easier to find a charger to charge your mobile wherever you are in the world.

The new UCS standard was based on input from the GSMA, which predicts that its uptake could lead to a halving of standby energy consumption, the elimination of 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers, and a subsequent reduction of 13.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Malcolm Johnson, director of ITU’s telecommunication standardisation bureau, said: "This is a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of mobile charging, which also has the benefit of making mobile phone use more straightforward. Universal chargers are a commonsense solution that I look forward to seeing in other areas."

The chargers will use the Micro-USB interface, and will have a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, making them up to three times more energy efficient than an unrated charger.

The UCS announcement comes as the ITU lobbies to have the  role of information and communication technologies recognised in the draft Copenhagen Agreement as a key way of mitigating climate change.

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