ITU event to highlight importance of ICT for climate change

ITU, together with the Italian Ministry of Economic
Development, is organizing the first Green Standards Week from 5 to 9 September
in Rome, Italy.

Hosted by Telecom Italia, the cluster of workshops that
make up the event will focus on raising awareness of the importance of using
ICT standards to build a green economy and combat climate change. Full remote
participation will be made possible with video, streamed audio and the ability
to submit questions online via a moderator.

A High-Level Segment (HLS) will provide Ministers and
senior representatives from the ICT industry with an opportunity to exchange
views on how ICTs can help in the implementation of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to Durban
(COP-17) and in preparation for the Earth Summit Rio +20, to be held in 2012.
The HLS will aim to set transparent policy objectives and targets to measure
and improve government green ICT strategies and standards, including
ICT-enabled applications across the economy.

The first workshop will focus on methodologies for
environmental impact assessment of ICT, and will examine work underway to
measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, and how to standardize the way to
calculate the reduction of GHG in ICT operation. This workshop will be jointly
organized with the European Commission.

A second workshop will look at moving to a green economy
through ICT standards, exploring how ICTs can help to address climate change
and build a green economy, and shedding light on standards, policies and best
practices. This workshop will be jointly organized with Telecom Italia and will
be opened by the Italian Minister of Economic Development, Paolo Romani.

The third workshop in the series will focus on using
submarine communication networks to monitor the climate and provide tsunami
warnings. It aims to encourage the development of new technologies and
standards and to explore business opportunities for telecommunication companies
to become active players in monitoring climate change. This workshop will be
jointly organized by ITU, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of
UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has put sustainability
right at the top of the agenda for the United Nations in 2011. One problem we
face is that while lip service is paid across the planet to the concept of
sustainability, there is still surprisingly little action being taken. The main
reason, I believe, is that the economi case for sustainability has not in fact
been made convincingly – and here, the ICT sector and standards have a powerful
potential role to play,” said Hamadoun Toure, secretary general, ITU.

Green Standards Week, which is sponsored by Huawei,
Research in Motion, Alcatel Lucent and Microsoft, will bring together leading
specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers,
planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others. It is
open to participation by the press.


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