In today’s world, environment is considered a fundamental imperative in every human activity, for both developed and developing economies. 2012 will be the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a “a global clean energy revolution – a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all”.
Tackling climate change, providing energy to a rapidly growing population, securing dwindling natural resources and reducing dangerous pollutants will lead to building resilient societies, strengthening economies and accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Acknowledging the significant need for a low carbon economy, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry has shown its leading role in supporting a durable global economic growth through green innovation.
The technologies that exist today are not the answer but enable solutions for change. ICT causes disruption that often leads to positive improvements in people’s lives and economies but where can it play a role to tackle the planet’s most difficult challenges. What ICTs are affordable and how can countries develop its own local technology economies? What are the answers to technology transfer, mitigation and adaptation issues?
The session “Green ICTs and Innovation” will reflect on these issues, providing an overview of country experiences, best practices and new technologies that can promote the transition towards a green economy.
The meeting began with an introduction to the DCICC followed by a review of the objectives and membership. The agenda was agreed.
The meeting then held a tour de table during which each person present introduced themselves and identified their key interests in the area of ICT and climate change. Presentations were then made from contributions provided prior to the meeting.
As facilitator of the meeting, Mr. Issah Yahaya, Director, Policy and Planning, Ministry of Communications, Ghana provided an overview of Ghana’s actions taken to combat climate change and highlighted the following:
- Climate change response within a country should be coordinated between the different key stakeholders. ICTs are a vital tool to enable countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. In this regard, Ghana decided to review its national policy according to a holistic approach. One of action that was undertaken was to undertake a massive migration at national level from analogical to digital;
- ICTs can help to bridge the digital divide and tackle environmental issues, a win-win scenario;
- Projects and activities to enhance capacity building should be fostered in order to improve technology transfer of green ICT technologies, especially in developing countries;
- Special attention should be given to rural communities. ICTs are key for diagnosis and monitoring and can be an enabler for green solutions.
Conclusions and further comments:
The following key issues were raised during the discussion following the presentations. They gained consensus for the follow up action via the email list collected at this meeting and the full DCICC list which is managed by ITU-T/TSB. These issues will be the basis for future next steps to be undertaken.
- There is the need to position the issue of ICT and climate change in a strategic manner;
- ICTs are a major linchpin in helping countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Raising Awareness is a key component of any strategy that aims at tackling climate change. Information is crucial and ICT can help connecting people, especially during emergencies or disasters.
- The potential of cloud computing was acknowledged, as well as the need for carbon abatement;
- It was argued that the issue of e-waste should be paid more attention to in future meetings of the DCICC.