Context

 

What are Smart ICTs?

"Smart" information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve environmental performance and address climate change across the economy. The biggest gains for smarter environmental and economic strategies and applications are sectors such as energy, buildings and transportation. Further environmental benefits of ICT applications are evident in areas such as water management, biodiversity protection, pollution reduction. More information: www.oecd.org/sti/ict/green-ict.

 

Why Green Growth?

Green growth is a major avenue to “decouple” economic growth from energy and materials consumption and other environmental impacts. The economic crisis convinced many countries that a different kind of economic growth is needed. In response, governments are putting in place measures aimed at a green economic recovery. Coupled with innovation, going green can be a long-term driver for economic growth, through, for example, investing in renewable energy and improved efficiency in the use of energy and materials. More information: www.oecd.org/greengrowth

 

Linking Smart ICTs and Green Growth

ICTs and “smart” applications of ICTs are a key component in greening economic activities in sectors as diverse as utilities, transport, buildings. And ICTs have the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of individual life-styles, including consumption, living and working habits. Economic and employment opportunities arise from ICT-based “clean technologies” for smart electricity grids, intelligent transport, green buildings, water and waste management.


Despite high potential benefits of creating smart “systems of systems”, e.g. by linking electricity infrastructures with new modes of transport, implementation rates for ICT-enabled systems remain low in many countries. There are structural, technological and other barriers, including lack of information and lack of co-ordination between stakeholders. There are also risks and uncertainties related to the application of ICTs. Practical and policy challenges will be discussed with the aim of achieving “foresight” on policies that can exploit the potential of ICTs in enabling a greener global economic recovery. Sessions at this Technology Foresight Forum will therefore also cover topics with relevance to “Smart ICT” developments in emerging, non-OECD economies.

 

OECD work on Smart ICTs and this Technology Foresight Forum is in co-ordination with other national and international efforts, e.g. by the International Energy Agency, the International Transport Forum and the European Commission.