/ 5 October 2009

Ban: Information technology ‘vital’ in climate change fight

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are ”vital” in tackling climate change, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday, urging the industry to think up fresh ideas to harness technology and usher in a green economy.

Opening one of the industry’s biggest fairs, ITU Telecom World, Ban said: ”ICTs are … very vital to confronting the problems we face as a planet: the threat of climate change.”

He highlighted an example in which the UN has teamed up with cellphone companies and other partners to transmit weather news to African farmers through text messages to their cellphones.

Ban called on the industry to come up with more of such innovations.

”I am sure you in this room can think of even more creative ways to use ICTs to usher in a new green economy. I hope you share your ideas and make them a reality,” he told government officials and the industry’s executives gathered at the fair.

Ban also asked developing countries to ”strive … to be pioneers and innovators.”

”Governments and industries that embrace a strategy of green growth will be environmental champions and economic leaders in the twenty-first century,” he added.

According to the UN’s International Telecommunication Union, about 450 exhibitors and 40 000 participants are expected to attend the five-day trade show. — AFP