ITU and GeSI Launch Global Coalition on ICT and Climate Change

25 November 2011: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) have initiated the Global Coalition on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Climate Change to send a coordinated message to the Durban Climate Change Conference, highlighting the climate change mitigation and adaptation potential of ICT.

Organizations in the coalition include the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Global Compact, TechAmerica, and high-level representatives from the governments of Ghana, South Africa and Egypt. ITU and partners will be working through the coalition to convince delegates at the Conference to harness the power of ICT to promote mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The coalition will be promoting ICT as the 21st century's most valuable problem-solving tool and spreading the message that ICTs, such as smart grids, intelligent transport systems and the ‘internet of things,' have extraordinary potential to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of other high energy-consuming industry sectors, and must be included in any meaningful climate change policy at the global, regional and national levels.

To this end, the coalition will be showcasing how the ICT industry is using technology to reduce its own carbon footprint, with the ultimate objective of ensuring that the industry is included as an integral part of global climate change policy. Various initiatives will be undertaken by members of the coalition to spread this message, including: an "ICT booth" hosted by ITU to showcase presentations on ICT and the environment; two new ITU reports showing how ICTs have helped Ghana mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; an ICT Day staged by the UNFCCC Secretariat; a “Virtual Participation Centre” hosted by the UNFCCC Secretariat, with video conferences, presentations, exhibits and interactive private sector participation; two side events focusing exclusively on the role of ICTs in environmental sustainability; and the launch of the ‘Transformative Step of the Day" by GeSI, highlighting transformative ICT solutions put forward during the negotiations. [ITU Press Release]