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Global ICT Seminar – IT for Climate-Smart Development

The Global ICT Department presented a session on IT for Climate-Smart Development: “Not Your Grandfather’s Bank” at the Sustainable Development Forum on January 20. The session aimed to raise staff understanding of how ICT can be used to achieve better results in climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Speakers: Jatin Singh, CEO SkyMet (India), Frank Rijsberman, Director Program of Google. org, the philanthropic arm of Google Inc. and Monique Meche, Director, Environment Policy and Sustainability, Cisco Systems and Anna Murray, Development Officer, E+Co.

The session aimed to raise staff understanding of how ICT can be used to achieve better results in climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) promise to be important enablers of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in several sectors. Examples included the use of ICTs in:

· Climate monitoring for weather forecasting and predicting, detecting and mitigating the effects of natural disasters, monitoring analysis and control of industrial processes, among others;

· Lowering energy consumption and GHG in the power networks (e.g. through smart grids);

· IT applications in smart buildings and smart motor systems;

· “Dematerialization” via e-government applications

· Adapting agriculture and water resource management systems to evolving weather patterns using satellite-based information and simple mobile phone applications, smart irrigation and logistics.

An important theme was the rapidly growing reach of mobile phone networks (more than 3bn phones in use in developing countries) and the potential to leverage these networks for climate change efforts.

Another important theme was investing in and growing the ‘clean’ technology sectors of developing countries, so that the economic opportunities presented by clean technologies are realized.

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