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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ITU Paper – Early Mention of Adaptation

In contrast with the in-depth report Recent Moves in Green Telecom I wrote about last week , a recent short and easy read by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) “Tackling Climate change – Information and communication technologies lead the way” provides a good overview of the breadth of the role ICTs can play in this space. It is a good primer for green IT.

The report of course includes the role ICTs can play in reducing overall carbon emissions, referring out to SMART 2020 as the basis for part of the paper. But the paper also brings prominence to aspects of the role of ICTs that are frequently missed. Using the Four Dimensions of Sustainability as a framework those aspects are;

Direct Impact - The paper brings out the importance of implementation of standards in next generation networks (NGN) and in digital wireless devices to realize the potential for significant reduction in power consumption of those networks.

Direct Impact and Products in-Use – The need for standardized measurement of the entire lifecycle of carbon emissions of ICT products and services

Enabled Impact - The use of ICTs to measure and monitor change in climate and related environmental attributes, together with one of the first mentions I have seen of the role of ICTs in adaptation. Sadly that involves assisting with response to increasing numbers of natural disasters,

Inform and Influence - Using ICTs as a communication tool to disseminate information.

It is encouraging to see adaptation enter discussion in the ICT sector. I am starting to hear it talked about more frequently in other sectors too.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find a copy of the paper online, but as soon as I do I will post it.

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