ICTs and Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries

Author and Institution: 
Helen Roeth, CSR Asia Center at AIT, Hong Kong
Leena Wokeck, CSR Asia Center at AIT, Hong Kong
Richard Heeks, University of Manchester
Richard Labelle, Independent ICT4D Consultant
Outline: 

Urgent  action  is  required to  reduce greenhouse  gas  emissions.   Developing countries  overall are significant emitters, and they must maximise use of ICTs in three ways:

  • Green ICT: reducing the emissions from production and use of ICTs themselves.
  • Smart  ICT:  using  ICTs  in  other  sectors  –  energy,  buildings,  transportation,  logistics, manufacture and forestry – to shrink their carbon footprint.
  • Community  ICT:  applying  ICTs  at  community  level  to  reduce  energy  consumption  and substitute for journeys.

Developing  countries have  an  opportunity to  leapfrog  to low ­carbon  solutions, and to  reduce operating costs alongside carbon emissions by investing in e­mitigation.  However, they face
important  challenges:  lack  of  awareness,  capital,  skills,  appropriate  technology,  and appropriate market/policy regimes.

Action is therefore needed by:

  • International  organisations:  to  incorporate  ICTs  more  clearly  into  low­carbon  technology transfer and financing.
  • Governments:  to  build  capacity  and  partnerships,  and  to  create  a  business  environment that incentivises both innovation and adoption of e­mitigation applications.
  • Businesses:  to  develop  new  e­mitigation  solutions  appropriate  to  developing  countries, and to drive adoption of such solutions within their entire supply chain.