Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cutting GHG emissions

UN telecom forum urges efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from ICT use

Experts attending a United Nations forum here on Friday agreed to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by the use of information and communication technology (ICT).

Some 800 experts from around the world wrapped up the ten-day World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly on Friday.

The assembly passed a resolution calling for the reduction of the emissions caused by the use of ICT in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the forum’s organizer, estimated that the ICT contributed 2.0 percent to 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions which are likely to grow as the ICT becomes more widely available.

The experts admitted that the ICT could be a major factor in efforts to tackle climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce emissions in industries.

This can be done through introduction and development of more energy efficient devices and environmentally-friendly disposal.

The resolution also acknowledged that the ITU is committed to achieving climate neutrality within three years.

The meeting discussed other issues including access to the ICT for the disabled and encouraging academic participation in the ITU's work.

"We have received a strong message from our members that the ITU is, and will remain the world's pre-eminent telecommunication and the ICT standards body," said Malcolm Johnson, director of the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector.

"And we also make it clear that the ITU should continue its mission to connect the international community to narrow the standardization gap by increasing developing countries' participation in our work -- an essential prerequisite to achieve our goal," he added.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said the gathering has "laid out a road map for future development of standards that underpin the world's communications networks."

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