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Going Green – ICT & Climate Change – Energy Sustainability

green.jpgNow that the importance of limiting greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming is well recognised, the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in combating climate change is being widely discussed. The ITU-T has initiated two symposia on ICT and Climate Change to be held in Kyoto in April and London in June 2008 indicating the importance being attached to energy sustainability. All groups in the ITU-T are being urged to take energy consumption into consideration.There has recently been some bad press about the environmental impact of the Internet with reports that it accounts for 5.3% of world energy consumption and results in the emission of as much CO2 as the airline industry and that the electricity consumption of one avatar on Second Life emits 1.17 tons of C02! However, there are a number of studies that clearly indicate that much energy can be saved by using ICT rather than traveling. A report to the Consumer Electronics Association by TIAX in July 2007 describes the impact of telecommuting and e-commerce on energy consumption (including liquid fuel consumption) and greenhouse gas emissions in the USA. A report by the European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO)“Saving the climate @ the speed of light” also presents calculations of the potential savings in C02 emissions that could be made in the European Union through the use of various ICT applications. The ITU-T has also discussed the use of ICT in monitoring climate change, data analysis & climate modelling, providing emergency services & disaster relief and transport management systems and provides online resources. And so is ICT a part of the the problem of part of the solution? Part of the problem

  • Internet -- 5.3% of world’s energy consumption
  • Contributes more CO2 than world’s airlines?

Part of the solution

  • Monitoring climate change
  • Data analysis & climate modelling
  • Emergency services & disaster relief
  • Travel substitution
  • Transport management systems
  • Sensor networks and process control (e.g. switching off unnecessary devices and production on-demand.

Cisco is fully committed to the Green Revolution and will increasingly be moving towards Green in it’s products and in its’ social responsibility.

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2 Comments.


  1. I would like to get a brief summary on the role of ict in combating climate change and i will also like to get the main facts too about that.

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  2. John Earnhardt

    In a recent report, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative and The Climate Group found that IT could cut CO2 emissions across sectors up to 7.8 Giga-tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020 – greater than the annual emissions of the U.S. or China – and save up to of $800 billion globally. You can see the full report here: http://www.gesi.org/

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