Governments urged to harness the power of information and communication technologies to dramatically cut emissions
Geneva, 2 April 2012 - Broadband can help transition the world towards a low carbon-economy and address the causes and effects of climate change, according to a new report just released by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
The Broadband Bridge: Linking ICT with Climate Action is the result of work conducted by the Broadband Commission Working Group on Climate Change, chaired by Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson and comprising several members of the Commission, representing industry, international organizations, and NGOs.
The report aims to raise awareness of the pivotal role information and communication technology (ICT), and particularly broadband networks, can play in helping creating a low carbon economy of the future, and highlights the importance of public private partnerships in accelerating change. It is based on interviews, case studies and supporting material from more than 20 leaders and experts in the field.
"Addressing climate change implies completely transforming our way of life, the way we work, the way we travel, shifting our model of development to a fairer, more sustainable model to ensure our survival. We need to put at stake all the resources available to us, and mobilize the political will to turn discussions and negotiations into agreements and actions," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.
Building on the agreements achieved at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-17), the report emphasizes the kind of transformative solutions that are enabled by broadband. It provides practical examples of how broadband can contribute to reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs), mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and promoting resource efficiency, while at the same time building more prosperous and inclusive societies.
"The understanding of the benefits that broadband can bring is at a global tipping point. Its role in GDP growth, in enabling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and offsetting the effects of climate change is just now starting to be understood, because finally the deployment is there and the benefits can be realized. In today's economic climate, societies need to develop, and with a solutions-driven approach to climate change, we can accelerate a new type of green growth while supporting global sustainable development goals," said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson and Chairman of the Broadband Commission Working Group on Climate Change.
Last year UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stressed the importance of harnessing ICTs to improve the lives of people worldwide. In a message to the fourth meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in Geneva in October 2011, he said: "It is clear to me that information and communication technologies are transforming our world. Today, there is no part of modern life that is not affected by ICTs. With well over five billion mobile cellular subscriptions, and more than two billion people online, our challenge is to leverage the enormous power of technology to make the world a better place."
In the lead-up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June, the report presents ten recommendations from the Broadband Commission for policymakers and global leaders to hasten and strengthen the power of ICT and broadband to accelerate global progress towards a low-carbon economy:
The 5th meeting of the Broadband Commission is taking place today, Monday 2 April, in Ohrid, Macedonia, hosted by the Macedonian Ministry of Information Society and Administration.
Download the full version of the new report at: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/Climate/BD-bbcomm-climate.pdf
Download a 1-page 'highlights' document at:
Watch a video interview with Dr Hamadoun Touré and Climate Change Working Group Chairman Hans Vestberg at: http://bit.ly/HjMe3i.
For more information on the Broadband Commission, visit: www.broadbandcommission.org
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ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For over 145 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.