Pax Arctica's Blog

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Climate Change and "Information and Communication Technologies"


Here are some excerpts from the speech by Dr. Hamadoun Touré at the Green Cross International general assembly which I attended last week in Geneva. I thought they were quite relevant especially to my other activities in the ICT world:

§ I am here today as one of the newest members of the GCI’s Climate Change Task Force – and I am deeply honoured to join a group which is led by President Mikhail Gorbachev and which includes Nobel Peace Laureates, the Club of Rome, the Club of Madrid, and other very distinguished members.

§ Those who know me well, know that I am an optimist. And as an optimist, I am positive that we can succeed.

§ There was an interesting interview last week on CNN’s website with another optimist, Mark Lynas, a British journalist and environmental expert. He said: “we need to try and change the language used to discuss climate change, from all about burden sharing, to opportunity sharing. That's a big mental shift, it's a big political shift and it's a big economic shift,” he added.

§ And he’s right. This is all about opportunity.

§ Information and Communication Technologies – ICTs – will play a vital role in helping us win this battle.

§ Indeed, I would go further, and say that without ICTs we cannot possibly hope to win.

§ ICTs are the single most powerful tool humankind has at its disposal to avoid potential climate catastrophe. While technology contributes around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more efficient use of modern technologies could cut global power consumption by 15%.

§ ICTs help to reduce waste, cut business travel and make industry more efficient.

§ New technologies being developed within ITU – such as Next-Generation Networks – can reduce network and data centre power consumption by up to 40%.

§ The universal charger, which has just been standardized by ITU, will deliver a 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, eliminate up to 80,000 tonnes of redundant chargers, and cut GHG emissions by at least 13 million tonnes annually.

§ Satellites are also tremendously important – not just in monitoring, but in helping increase food output and reduce emissions. Satellite-based intelligence services for farmers, for example, which cost less than US$ 15 per hectare annually, can increase yields by as much as 10%. And using satellite monitoring produces 98% fewer emissions than ordinary ground monitoring

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