30 Nov 2023
by Tomas Lamanauskas

Green Digital Action at COP28: Industry-wide partnerships for a sustainable future (Guest blog from ITU/Digital Action)

Guest blog by Tomas Lamanauskas, Deputy Secretary General at ITU. Part of techUK's Climate Action at COP28 Campaign Week 2023.

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The world’s collective chance to beat the climate crisis is evaporating quickly.  

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on leaders “from governments, business, cities and regions, civil society and finance” to cooperate on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and “come up with new, tangible and credible climate action.” 

Holding the crucial 1.5-degree line in the face of the rise in global temperatures requires urgent, practical solutions with everyone on board. Digital technologies can make a decisive difference. 

Digital companies and industry groups will be active at COP28, alongside governments, international organizations, and civil society, all seeking a collective breakthrough to rescue our planet. 

ITU – the UN agency for digital technologies – is rallying partners from the tech industry to drive Green Digital Action at COP28

Our collective action aims to optimize resource consumption and curb the exponential growth of e-waste – to make humanity’s future sustainable. 

Green Digital Action at COP28 should also help every segment of our industry advance towards carbon neutrality without further delay. 

Finally, digital technologies are needed to keep our world safer in the face of climate change-induced risks, including the rising incidence of disasters. 

Digitalization, if done right, can support ambitious solutions to serve growing populations and make the world a better place for everyone.  

 

Already, digital technologies are helping to cut emissions from industry, transport, energy production, and the whole supply chain for devices and applications. Tech firms are purchasing growing shares of renewable energy, investing in carbon removal, and issuing green bonds. For now, however, the rapid growth of today’s digital society continues to increase energy consumption, emissions, material use, and e-waste by our own sector. 

ITU provides globally recognized green standards and guidance for manufacturers and service providers, with a focus on creating circular economies. In parallel, we track the emissions, energy consumption and climate commitments of digital companies (see Greening Digital Companies 2023) and monitor tech-related emissions data on a country level. 

Still, we need transparent reporting on greenhouse gas emissions from all digital companies. Collective industry-wide commitments can help today’s emitters also become carbon neutral. 

At COP28, we expect to see companies from around the world commit to credible and measurable emissions reduction targets aligned with the 1.5-degree limit. We aim to form a working group on emission factors and create a database to measure decarbonization across our sector.  

Prominent telecom and satellite operators will pledge their support for Early Warnings for All, a key step to facilitate climate adaptation globally. We also expect stepped up support for e-waste regulation. 

With our fellow global standards-making organizations, we call for integrating sustainable design principles across all future standards​, as well as mobilize partners to drive the implementation of green standards across the digital tech industry. 

Green Digital Action aims to put our industry on the right side of history. Doing so depends on building bridges across different areas of expertise – in government, industry, academia, civil society. 

Everyone needs to be at the table. Only together can we make sure that we fully leverage green digital potential and put our world back on a sustainable track. 

Learn more about Green Digital Action at COP28. 

 


techUK - Committed to Climate Action

Visit our Climate Action Hub to learn more or to register for regular updates.

By 2030, digital technology can cut global emissions by 15%. Cloud computing, 5G, AI and IoT have the potential to support dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, and manufacturing. techUK is working to foster the right policy framework and leadership so we can all play our part. For more information on how techUK can support you, please visit our Climate Action Hub and click ‘contact us’.

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techUK’s Climate Action at COP28 Campaign Week #techUKClimateAction

Ahead of the global stocktake year, techUK are delighted to be hosting our Climate Action at COP28 Campaign Week between 27-30 November.

Read all the insights here

 

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