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" "LET US USE THECONNECTIVITYPROVIDED BY ICTS TO WORK AS A SINGLE COMMUNITY TOENSURE THELIVELIHOOD OFOUR PLANETINFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY065Right: Dr HamadounTouré, Secretary-General,InternationalTelecommunicationUnion (ITU)providing better information to consumers, enablingthem to change their consumption patterns through theavailability of real-time data provided by smart meters.A prominent example of this would be making betteruse of renewable energy sources. In addition the use ofsmart grids will reduce electricity lost duringtransmission and distribution and enable appliancesand devices to be networked with the electricity grid,allowing them to enter into automatic stand-by modeswhen not in use. The transformational power of ICTscan also be applied to intelligent transport systems(ITS), which can clear our cities of debilitatingpollutants and traffic jams. In smart, connected citiesyou will be directed to the nearest available parkingspace, GPS enabled systems will improve traffic flow,and intelligent ambient lighting will appear only whenand where it is needed. INFORMATION SYSTEMS AS THE BACKBONE OF ADAPTATION STRATEGIESWhile we search for strategies to mitigate and ultimatelyeliminate the causes behind climate change, we should also look at solutions to assist those countriesexperiencing its effects, bearing in mind that climate change is already impacting food production,water supply and disease proliferation in several areas of the world. In this context, the use of ICTs hasbeen recognised as key infrastructure in supportingadaptation strategies. The use of ICTs supports datacollection and information sharing, allowing decisionmakers to better understand impacts and vulnerabilities,and allowing them to take informed decisions. The use of ICTs to help predict and detect naturaldisasters, as well as delivering information about them,is one of the best examples of the use of informationsystems in climate change adaptation. Across theworld, ICT networks are already being used to provideearly warning of climate and oceanographic changes,allowing governments to better respond to naturaldisasters. This is an area in which ITU is alreadyproviding strong support to our Member States. Similarapproaches could be adopted to establish earlywarning systems to warn about the effects thatunexpected climate variations can have in sectors suchas agriculture or energy production. A CALL TO ACTIONOur global community will gather once again at the endof the year in Durban, South Africa, to look forsolutions that can help move the discussions forwardand define the new climate change regime to beapplied after 2012. The challenges are enormous -but so too are the opportunities available to us. Today,according to ITU data, there are well over 5 billionmobile cellular subscriptions worldwide and more thantwo billion people are online. Let us use theconnectivity provided by ICTs to engage this network ofconnected individuals to work as a single communityto ensure the livelihood of our planet. ITU's message to COP17 is simple: ICTs are part of thesolution, a solution that can move the agenda forward.Let us recognise the phenomenal power of ICTs in theoutcomes of the conference, and ensure thattechnology, innovation and information systems will beat the frontline of our strategies to address climatechange. By working together we can advance theimplementation of new solutions for a better future. nABOUT THE AUTHORDr Hamadoun Touré has been Secretary-General ofITU since January 2007. Re-elected for a secondfour-year term in October 2010, Dr Touré iscommitted to ITU's mission of connecting the world,and to helping achieve the Millennium DevelopmentGoals and sustainable development throughharnessing the unique potential of Information andCommunication Technologies (ICTs).ABOUT ITUThe International Telecommunication Union (ITU) isthe UN specialised agency responsible for ICTs. Itsmembership, comprising 192 governments, some700 private companies and more than 20universities, has called for ITU to take the lead inengaging the global community in addressing climatechange through the use of ICTs. ITU is headquarteredin Geneva, Switzerland, with 12 field offices around the world. Further information about ITU's climate change activities is available at

eople always make better decisions when they understand the relationshipbetween the cause and effect of theiractions. Humanity's evolutionary story todate has largely been one of better decisions andinnovation enabled through a clearer understanding ofour environmental constraints and opportunities. If we want our evolution to continue to be a successstory, however, we need to fundamentally transformthe dynamics of supply and demand globally andcreate systems that will work for a planet projected bythe UN to have 10 billion human inhabitants by 2050.One of the major issues with globalisation is that itscomplexity means that our once symbiotic relationshipwith the environment has become opaque to the pointwhere we cannot see the implications of our every daydecisions, resulting in humanity and the environmentbeing at odds with each other. However, one of themajor benefits of the globalisation mind-set is theinterconnectedness that it has fuelled. Never beforehave we been as connected to our global neighbours;never before have we been so socially attuned to theneeds and aspirations of others or so empowered toreach out to them. Our communication technology is the driving forcebehind this shift and it is this technology that has thepower to deliver the transparency needed to restore theclarity required for better decision making. If we are toevolve still further and realise our greatest potential, wemust embrace technology's ability to restoretransparency to the every day lives of people, in boththe developed and developing worlds. Crucially, we must make our consumption behaviourstransparent to provenance and impacts. As affluenceand consumption grow globally, we must urgently moveaway from the excessive resource demands of the lastone hundred years to a much more collaborative andconscientious form of consumption.The opportunity for business is to help customersmanage the complexity of purchasing and lifestyledecisions in a way that makes acting on their values easy.Similarly, on the supply side we must again embracetechnology's ability to move away from "supplychains" to "supply loops". Here again transparencyand traceability are key allies in ensuring we optimiseour global supply networks & begin to drive efficiency& eradicate waste. To date, the greater focus of efforts via the UNFCCChas been on regulation and achieving politicalconsensus to influence supply-side impacts. Tacklingdemand-side impacts from consumption andaccelerating innovation has for the large part beensidelined. We need a holistic approach which istransparent across national and international systemsof production and consumption, which gives clear lineof sight to the resources we need to manage for thebenefit of all nations and all ecosystems.This needs innovation - of technologies and systemschange - to influence demand-side impacts throughefficient solutions that can scale to help our rapidlyincreasing population cope with resource constraintsand the implications of climate change. We welcomeinitiatives from the UNFCC to create open innovationpolicy frameworks to incentivise and acceleratecollaboration to solve common climate-changechallenges. They should facilitate investment todevelop, share and scale relevant intellectual property.Whilst the frameworks need to enable rapid leap-frogging to more sustainable technologies to accelerateAbove: Niall DunneRight: The BT Tower,LondonWHY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGYIS CENTRAL TO SUSTAINABLELIFESTYLESINFORMATION & COMMUNICATION 066TECHNOLOGYNIALL DUNNE, CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, BTP