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6 Jun, 2012

Telecoms Union Calls for Reduced e-Waste By Stretching Life of Device


Geneva, 5 June 2012 (International Telecommunications Union) – Participants at the 7th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change have issued a Declaration that encourages ICT manufacturers to make their products more easily upgradable without need for replacing the entire device.

The call to promote a life cycle approach in the design of ICTs (eco-design) also means better taking into account how components in a device can be recycled. Reducing e-waste and providing incentives and encouragement for e-waste take back schemes were just some of the issues included in the Declaration issued at the end of the event.

The Declaration adopted by the approximately 150 participants at the event also called for enabling policies to encourage investment in smart technologies and ICT based clean technologies (cleantech) as a way of promoting green growth and sustainable development. In addition the support of ITU methodologies to measure the impact of ICT and a recommendation to ramp up research and development on the use of ICTs for monitoring, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change are mentioned.

Specifically the Declaration calls for global leaders, public sector officials, ICT and environmental experts and representatives from international organizations, that will gather at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18-CMP8), and the 2012 ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12), to identify and agree on key priorities and provide clear guidance on how to move the global green agenda forward through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) speaking at the event: “We very much hope that Technology Transfer mechanism agreed in Durban at COP17 for implementation this year will encourage ICT projects that help adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. The key components for a successful strategy are a combination of policies and regulatory incentives and standards that encourage the use of ICTs to combat climate change at the international, regional, and national levels. Active participation in international climate change discussions, and engagement in the design of technology solutions and standards is essential.”

Hosted by Prompt and co-organized with Industry Canada, ITU’s 7th ITU Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change brought together policy makers, representatives from ICT companies and civil society from around the world to further advance the “green ICT” agenda by raising awareness of the power of ICTs to aid in monitoring, mitigating and adapting to climate change, tackling e-waste and highlighting the key role played by ICTs as enablers in environmentally-sustainable economic development.

As the leading United Nations Specialized Agency for telecommunications and ICTs, ITU plays a leading role in developing an integrated approach to the significant role of ICTs in addressing climate change and in helping countries implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the use of ICTs.

Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU’s Secretary General, speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day, being celebrated around the world on 5 June said, “With ICTs now an intrinsic element of every economic sector, the need to integrate ICT-based solutions into the environmental actions of each industry sector has become essential.

ITU is committed to continue moving the global green agenda forward to combat climate change and invites policy makers, ICT companies, NGOs and academia to implement the Montreal Declaration and to continue supporting joint efforts to achieve a sustainable and inclusive future.

The Declaration represents ITU´s ongoing contribution to World Environment Day which focuses this year on the theme of ’Green economy’. Through this contribution ITU continues to promote the key role that ICTs play in the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive green economy”.