ITU Council Addresses Climate Change and Environmental Protection as Top Priorities

Itulogo3 November 2009: During its 2009 annual session, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council addressed climate change and environmental protection as its top priorities.

The session of the ITU Council, which is the ITU's governing body, convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20-30 October 2009. During the meeting, the ITU Council agreed to transmit a message requesting inclusion of the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the outcome of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, to be held in December 2009.

In his State of the Union address during the session, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré underlined ICTs as part of the climate solution, not the problem, and further stressed that “ITU has an important role to play in the lead up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December. As the single most powerful tool at our disposal to combat climate change, the Copenhagen Agreement must include ICTs as part of the solution.” ITU Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, who chairs a taskforce on Climate Change and Emergency Telecommunications, also highlighted that ICTs have a major role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all industry sectors.

As part of the goal of reducing its carbon footprint, the ITU Council worked in a paperless environment during the session as much as possible. This resulted in the reduction in paper usage of 766 kilograms, or almost one and a half tons of greenhouse gas emissions. [ITU Press Release]