Monday, 14 September 2009

Ericsson calls for ICT to be part of the Copenhagen agenda

In a keynote speech to the Broadband World Forum in Paris last week, incoming Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg called for ICT to be on the agenda at the UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.

Vestberg quoted the Smart 2020 report prediction of ICT helping reduce emissions by 15%, but went on "Ericsson believes that with an innovation-driven climate agenda, reductions could be even greater. Modern ICT solutions, ranging from education and information services, health as well as transport, can give access to vital services all over the world, without sacrificing our environment."

Vestberg said: "As representatives of the ICT sector, Ericsson and our industry peers also have the task to bring this message home to our governments and politicians. Change will require the commitment and actions of all levels of society; governments, industry, civil society and individuals. A committed global effort at COP15 (Copenhagen) is essential to secure both environmental sustainability and economic development, and ICT should be at the heart of this."

The focus of the speech was that (well-functioning) broadband is the backbone of a low-carbon 21st century information infrastructure and that investments in this infrastructure can reinforce several different low-carbon solutions such as virtual meetings, smart grids, m-governance, m-health, e-learning, e-paper, etc.

He has a good point. I am surprised by the continued lack of focus on how ICT can help us achieve a lower carbon economy. Despite the Smart 2020 report (and others like it) that detail and quantify the savings that can be made by effective use of ICT, attention remains on the emissions that ICT generates and how to reduce it. If it isn't highlighted at Copenhagen then one avenue to serious emissions reduction is being ignored.

As for broadband, well if BT in the UK can't supply at any respectable speed outside of major cities (I'm 40 minutes from London and speeds often drop to dial-in) then it's going to be an uphill struggle.

© The Green IT Review

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