The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector can play a big role in helping governments and the private sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The industry took its efforts a step further at COP22 in Marrakesh by launching the SMARTer2030 Action Coalition.
Announced on November 17 at the annual global environmental conference, SMARTer 2030 was launched by the government of Morocco and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).
"Since its creation, over a decade ago, GeSI has been working to raise awareness of the ICT potential in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy while improving people's quality of life. We are proud to see such recognition for our work and we look forward to this extremely important opportunity to make the digital revolution a reality for everyone,” said Luis Neves, chair of the board of GeSI.
The entry into force of the Paris Agreement marks the opening of a crucial phase in the global fight against climate change. A core part of this effort is the decoupling of economic growth from resource use, especially energy consumption, and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The implementation of ICTs will be a fundamental instrument for the achievement of these goals. In 2015 GeSI, grouping more than 40 leading global ICT companies and partners, laid out a roadmap for doing just this with its report SMARTer 2030 - ICT Solutions for 21st Century Challenges.
However, there are significant obstacles that need to be overcome to fully harness the ICT enabling potential. The world has at its fingertips a wealth of accessible, innovative, ICT-enabled solutions with great potential to combat and adapt to the effects of a changing climate, but this vision will not be realized if steps are not taken to overcome such obstacles.
The SMARTer2030 Action Coalition has as mission to realize the vision laid out in the GeSI SMARTer2030 report, the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through concrete actionable steps at the ICT industry level, business sector level, public policy level, and through public awareness, education, and mobilization. The Coalition, which launched during the COP22 conference, intends to bring together the actors whose involvement is needed to make this vision a reality: ICT industry, business, policymakers and civil society. Led by GeSI, the Coalition will work to support the achievement of the goals set by the Paris Agreement through concrete on-field projects implementation, public awareness, education, and mobilization.
The Coalition pursues therefore two main objectives: first, to ensure that the world's growing use of ICT does not exacerbate carbon emissions, and second to leverage the enabling potential of ICT to reduce CO2 emissions in a broad range of industry sectors starting with energy efficiency in buildings and mobility.
"Climate change is a challenge that calls on all the sectors to be engaged to bring solutions. We are glad for the ICT sector positive response to our mobilization work to create the worldwide ICT SMARTer2030 Action Coalition. Through collaboration, we believe scale and impact can be enhanced not only in reducing emissions for itself but also for many other sectors" said HE Mrs Hakima El Haité, Minister of Environment of Morocco and High Level Climate Champion for the government of Morocco.
In addition to the Government of Morocco and GeSI, founding partners of the Coalition include: BT, Connected Devices Alliance, CSCP, Ericsson, IBM, IEA, ITU, Microsoft, Philips Lighting, Schneider Electric, Telia Company, Verizon, and WBCSD.