A major gathering of businesses and policymakers—held alongside the ongoing UN climate talks in Bonn—has heard how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play a central role in tackling climate change.
The International Chamber of Commerce has put its backing into ICT technologies that combat climate change – both causes and effect of global warming, in the lead up to the upcoming Paris Climate Summit in December.
In a conference co-hosted by the ICC and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, key business and policymaker leaders put emphasis on the central enabling role that ICT technologies can play under a future global climate agreement.
As part of the meet, the organisations launched the GeSI SMARTer2030 report, which assessed eight economic sectors – energy, food, manufacturing, health, building, work, learning, and logistics. According to the report, the application of ICT technologies across those sectors would generate over US$11 trillion in economics benefits by 2030, all the while enabling a 20% reduction in global CO2 equivalent emissions for the period and keep CO2 levels to 2015 levels.
Speaking at the conference, Kaisa Olkkonen of Nokia (and Vice-Chair of ICC’s Digital Economy Commission) said: “There are a number of opportunities for many ICT companies to play their part in fight against climate change. Intelligent technology can contribute to using natural resources in a more sustainable way, and to helping to cut energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.”
“Our findings show an ICT-enabled world by 2030 that is cleaner, healthier and more prosperous with greater opportunities for individuals everywhere,” said Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI.
“The SMARTer2030 report comes six months before the crucial United Nations climate change conference in Paris in 2015,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. “The long term outcome of the new agreement requires a peaking of global emissions in ten years’ time and a dramatic bending of the emissions curve thereafter. This report underlines the pivotal role of ICT in assisting to achieve these aims.”
Nokia’s Olkkonen pointed to 5G and the Internet of Things as potential technologies that can accelerate emissions reduction.
“Technology enables us to move towards the programmable world, where billions of things are connected. But connectivity is only the beginning. In the programmable world all those connected things will be held together in extraordinary ways. Software will be the glue, analytics and intelligence will bring meaning, and automated action will bring simplicity and efficiency, leading to vast benefits for the world around us,” Olkkonen said.
Peter Lacy, managing director of Accenture Strategy, said: “This US$11 trillion opportunity shows that digital can improve the financial and business case for investing in socially and environmentally responsible products and services. Not only are new technologies easily available, but they are able to directly improve the quality of people’s lives. And they are now able to do so at massive scale, enabling sustainable business models to become mainstream and a source of competitiveness and growth.”
John Danilovich, Secretary General of ICC, said: “It’s clear that the business community sees the potential opportunity in taking action to meet the climate challenge. ICT innovation is a key element to spur green growth but many governments do not sufficiently tap the sector’s innovation potential. A new global climate agreement must play a catalytic role in speeding the introduction of smart policies to drive private sector innovation and investment across all sectors.”
Click here for more information on ICC’s work on climate policy as the business focal point for the UNFCCC process.
Click here for more information on the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy.
For more information on the SMARTer2030 report, please visit smarter2030.gesi.org
For more information on GeSI and its activities, please visit www.gesi.org