The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has called on international bodies, NGOs, standards bodies, governments, regulators, industry and academia to collaborate more closely on the creation of a single global methodology for addressing climate change and other environmental issues.
ITU said a single methodology for assessing the environmental impact of ICTs, reducing e-waste, and the use of submarine cables for climate monitoring and disaster warnings will give credibility to the various claims currently being made about the benefits of ICTs in addressing climate change and energy issues.
"By adopting globally agreed standards – green standards – we will help to create a smarter, greener, planet; a planet which will be full of opportunity and potential and which will help the next generation reap tremendous rewards," ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Touré at the closing of the IT Green Standards Week event held in Rome last week.
The increase in e-waste generated by the expanding use of ICT, and the decreasing life span of equipment, was highlighted by participants as an area of great concern, as was the export of e-waste to developing countries. Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) said the production of ICT equipment must minimize the use of toxic material, and be designed to have a longer life span and standardization is important in achieving this objective.
"ITU's universal charger is an excellent example of what can be achieved with international cooperation. E-waste that cannot be avoided must be recycled in an environmentally sound manner to extract valuable secondary raw materials," he said.