Ericsson CEO advocates technology-driven climate agenda at UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change
Date: Mon, 10/19/2009 - 18:35
Carl-Henric Svanberg, president and CEO of Ericsson, recently stressed the critical role Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays in achieving a balanced and effective global climate change treaty at the annual UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change in New York
Addressing the UN Secretary General, heads of state and business leaders, Svanberg outlined contributions the ICT sector can make in creating a low-carbon 21st-century infrastructure and encouraged leaders to bring ICT onto the agenda for the upcoming United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15) in December.
"We owe it to future generations to leverage on technology that is available today, and failing to recognize this potential could jeopardize the world's success in reducing CO2 emissions," said Svanberg.
While studies have shown that ICT can reduce global CO2 emissions 15 percent by 2020, Ericsson believes reductions could be even greater with an innovation-driven climate agenda.
"World leaders are focused on an agenda that must deliver some 50 to 80 percent emission cuts by 2050," said Svanberg. "In order to achieve this magnitude of reductions, we must move away from incremental emission reductions to more transformative ones which can deliver measurable savings and smarter ways of doing things. ICT can increase quality of life while dramatically reducing emissions."
The GSMA, the body representing the worldwide mobile communications industry, also played a key role at the Leadership Forum on Climate Change and commended the efforts of Ericsson.
"Both Ericsson and the mobile industry are committed to greater energy efficiency and together we can also be a low carbon catalyst for people and machines," said Rob Conway Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of GSMA.
Svanberg shared this same message with Nordic business leaders and the UN Secretary-General last May at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen. There, Svanberg stressed the importance of moving away from dealing with emissions after they have already occurred, and instead focus on moving ideas, not people, with broadband being society's new highways.
"Modern ICT solutions, ranging from education and information services, smart grids, e-health as well as intelligent transport, can give access to vital services all over the world, without sacrificing our environment," said Svanberg. "Investments in ICT can also stimulate economic growth."
Through innovative solutions, mobile is able to lower emissions and drive energy efficiency in other sectors but it can also improve communication, health, distribution, education and other indispensable services in low-income areas.
Svanberg concluded his remarks at the Leadership Forum urging world leaders to work together to find solutions that will create a carbon-lean economy.
Mr. Conway concurred: "Therefore we call upon governments and the COP15 to ensure that mobile solutions are at the vanguard of the global fight to prevent climate change and mitigate its consequence, "he added.
"Change will require the commitment and actions of all levels of society, governments, industry, civil society and individuals," said Svanberg. "A committed global effort at COP15 is essential to secure both environmental sustainability and economic development, and ICT should be at the heart of this."