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Showcasing Information and Communication Technology Solutions, UN Climate Change Secretariat Launches New Partnership with GeSI

Submitted by: Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative

Categories: Sustainability, Technology

Posted: Nov 25, 2013 – 10:25 AM EST


WARSAW, Poland, Nov. 25 /CSRwire/ - The UN Climate Change secretariat launched a new partnership with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) today to underscore the critical role Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays in tackling climate change.

Speaking Thursday evening at a special event at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw,

Poland, senior government officials and influential corporate leaders from the ICT sector highlighted how the increased use of these technologies can reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the effects of climate change.

According to GeSI’s recent report, SMARTer 2020: the role of ICT in driving a sustainable future, ICT can slash global greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 per cent, 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 centres
  • 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 virtualisation 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 optimisation of logistics networks
  • Using smart farming techniques, including weather monitoring and livestock management

“ICT has an essential role to play in putting the world on a low-carbon path,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. “The way we do business and provide critical services is shaped by mobility and connectivity. As urban populations grow, ICT can help ensure that growth evolves in the most sustainable way possible. Concerted action by policy-makers to use ICT is an extremely important part of powering a green revolution.”

Moderated by Nick Nuttall, Communications Director for the UN Environment Programme, the high-level discussion focused on how ICT can both reduce emissions and build resilience to the effects of a changing climate. The event featured three high-profile and influential corporate leaders and GeSI members including:

  • Luis Neves, Chief Sustainability Officer, Deutsche Telekom
  • Matilda Gennvi Gustafsson, Sustainability Director, Ericsson
  • Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT

GeSI Chairman Luis Neves said, “Our partnership with the UNFCCC is an excellent opportunity to showcase ICT-driven changes that contribute toward a low-carbon economy. Our members are dedicated to fulfilling ICT’s massive potential to achieve sustainability. The UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative is an amazing platform to progress in critical areas of society. Together, we can make unprecedented and meaningful contributions.”

Government leaders speaking at the event included Bernice Adiku Heloo, Ghana’s Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogotá, Columbia.

The new partnership between GeSI and the UN Climate Change secretariat is part of a larger initiative that showcases successful climate action around the world. Momentum for Change focuses on women’s leadership, urban poverty, innovative finance and, now, ICT solutions.

Beginning next year, people, institutions and companies can submit examples of how ICT addresses climate change and builds resilience. The most inspiring, innovative and successful activities will be selected as Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities, which will be recognised and celebrated during the December 2014 UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.

For more information, please contact:
Sarah Marchildon, Communications Officer, United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, at: | +49 228 815 1065

Machteld De Groef, Communications & Office Coordinator, Global e-Sustainability Initiative, at: | +32 2 282 8442

About Momentum for Change
Momentum for Change is a special initiative of the United Nations Climate Change secretariat that showcases inspiring examples of climate action around the world.

About the UNFCCC
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system

About GeSI
The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is a strategic partnership of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and organisations committed to creating and promoting technologies and practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability. Formed in 2001, GeSI fosters global and open cooperation, informs the public of its members’ voluntary actions to improve their sustainability performance, and promotes technologies that foster sustainable development. GeSI has 34 members representing leading companies and associations from the ICT sector and partners with a range of international stakeholders committed to ICT sustainability objectives. These partnerships help shape GeSI’s global vision regarding the evolution of the ICT sector, and how it can best meet the challenges of sustainable development.

Learn more:

Momentum for Change on Facebook: unfcccmomentum
Momentum for Change on Twitter: @Momentum_UNFCCC
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on Twitter: @CFigueres
Global e-Sustainability Initiative on Twitter: @GeSIConnect

For more information, please contact:

Machteld De Groef Communications & Office Coordinator
Phone: +32 2 282 8442


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