Saturday, November 26, 2011

UN telecoms agency urges use of technology to tackle climate change

UN News Centre: The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) said today that it will, with partners, urge delegates at the UN climate change conference in South Africa next week to harness the power of information and communication technology to promote measures to mitigate and adapt to global warming.

Modern advanced technologies can transform social, industrial and business processes to effect the changes needed to achieve environmental sustainability, ITU said in a statement ahead of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which opens in the South African city of Durban on Monday.

While the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to make a real difference is widely recognized by the technology community and government ICT ministries, it is still far from being understood and embraced by environmental lobby groups and policy-makers, ITU pointed out.

“ITU and its partners will be using COP 17 to promote ICTs as the 21st century’s most valuable problem-solving tools. ITU believes it imperative that they be included as an integral part of global climate change policy,” said the statement.

...The coalition’s message is that ICTs, such as smart grids, intelligent transport systems and the ‘Internet of things’ have extraordinary potential to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of other high energy-consuming sectors, and must be included in any meaningful climate change policies at the global, regional and national level....

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