BT’s Dr Dave Faulkner has been selected by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to chair a new Focus Group examining the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on climate change.
Networks expert Dr Faulkner will lead on the development of international standards for reducing the energy consumption of telecommunication networks. He will also develop new methods for measuring the emission reductions that can be achieved through the use of ICTs, and plans for adapting to changes in the world’s climate.
The group was formed in response to a call from the ICT industry, echoed by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to standardise the way in which the climate change impacts of ICT are described and estimated. It will focus on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the ICT sector, and using information and communication technologies to reduce energy consumption in other sectors, for instance by using teleconferencing to avoid travelling.
Dr Faulkner said “It is crucial that the ICT industry both acknowledges and seeks to reduce its role in climate change. Communications technologies can play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions worldwide. Developing global standards for reducing the energy requirements of networks and equipment will help make ICT an even more powerful tool for businesses to use in managing their greenhouse gas emissions and meeting their climate change targets.”
The ICT sector is seen as a major part of the solution to climate change with the growth of teleconferencing and other e-communication services reducing the need for physical journeys and international travel.
BT is committed to tackling climate change. It has measured its carbon footprint in the UK since 1991, and has an ambitious target to cut its carbon emissions globally by 80 per cent on 1996 levels by 2020.