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

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 the 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 e­-mitigation. 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 low­-carbon technology transfer and financing.
  • Governments: to build capacity and partnerships, and to create a business environment that incentivises both innovation and adoption of e­-mitigation applications.
  • Businesses: to develop new e-­mitigation solutions appropriate to developing countries, and to drive adoption of such solutions within their entire supply chain.

Strategy Brief