ICT can help region cut carbon emissions

PETALING JAYA: The Asia-Pacific region can play an important role in the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through focused use of information and communications technology (ICT)-based solutions.

In a statement yesterday, International Data Corp (IDC) said its G20 ICT Sustainability Index revealed that of the 5.8 billion tons (Gigatons) of CO2 emissions that could be eliminated by 2020 through the focused use of ICT-based solutions, six countries from the region – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea – could account for 41.4%, or 2.4 gigatons.

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. The report was released last week in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

IDC ranked Japan as the only top-tier country with the score of 16, meaning of the G20 nations, Japan has the most potential of reducing greenhouse gases. Australia, China and South Korea were ranked in the fourth-tier while India and Indonesia were ranked in the fifth-tier.

“It is clear that Asia-Pacific has a prominent role to play in dealing with climate change as a global issue,” said associate research director for IDC’s Asia/Pacific practice and green IT & sustainability research Philip Carter.

“IDC’s ICT Sustainability Index provides a perspective on how ICT can be used to actively reduce greenhouse gases at a country level. We are hopeful that governments in the region will start to identify technology areas highlighted in the study and provide incentives for companies and consumers to start using them more specifically with this objective in mind.

“We also anticipate that more progressive policy makers will go a step further and begin to mandate the usage of some of these technologies and associated solutions in certain industries,” he said.

In developing this landmark research, IDC identified 17 core technologies in four major economic sectors: energy generation and distribution, transport, buildings and industry.

Separately, IDC’s 3rd annual Green IT and Sustainability Survey that included 450 organisations in the Asia-Pacific found that the cost of energy was still the key driver for organisations, with over 60% in the region indicating this to be the case.

Growth in IT infrastructure was also indicated as a factor that was rising fast on the agenda, particularly in China.

Further local differences were clearer between countries within the Asia-Pacific “jigsaw puzzle”, particularly when comparing emerging countries such as China against the more developed ones like Australia and Japan.

In Australia and Japan, senior executives (including the CEO, CIO and CTO) are taking the leading role in these initiatives. By comparison, in China, this responsibility was being pushed to IT management.

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