Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the effects of climate change, say ITC firms that, on Thursday, launched a partnership with the UN Climate Change Secretariat.
The new partnership between the UN Climate Change Secretariat and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) — an ITC industry group that promotes technologies that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability — will showcase ICT-driven changes that contribute toward a low-carbon economy, the organizations say.
According to GeSI’s December 2012 report, SMARTer 2020: the role of ICT in driving a sustainable future, ICT can slash global greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 percent, saving $1.9 trillion in energy and fuel costs and cutting 9.1 gigatonnes of carbon emissions. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including:
- Increasing energy efficiency of telecommunications networks and data centers.
- Enabling smart grids, including enabling renewables to connect with the utility grid.
- Reducing travel and transportation by substituting and optimizing existing travel and transportation systems.
- Using virtualization initiatives such as cloud computing and video conferencing.
- Making efficiency gains through the use of variable speed motors in manufacturing.
- Creating intelligent building management systems and optimization of logistics networks.
- Using smart farming techniques, including weather monitoring and livestock management.