Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

COP15: The role of ICTs for climate change. Lead role or supporting act?


9 December 2009  | 10am – 11am (GMT+1h)  |  UNFCCC iSeeT@COP15 Kiosk



Meeting without travelling: The OECD used latest video-conferencing technology to hold an international discussion in real-time at COP15 (the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen, 7-18 December 2009). The topic was: “The role of ICTs for climate change. Lead role or supporting act?”. It involved speakers in Denmark, India, Hong Kong (China), France and Japan. At COP15, participants joined at the UNFCCC iSeeT@COP15 Kiosk (Bella Center, Central Hall E).

Green ICTs: Three ideas summarise the meeting and the impacts of “Green ICTs” :

  • Green ICTs are important in developed countries (Denmark and Japan) and developing countries (India, Hong Kong (China)). ICTs enable the design of climate change policies and measures by providing decision-makers with detailed information in real-time. They make measuring, verification, and reporting easier, including for climate modelling and research (as pointed out by Hilda Lam from the Hong Kong Observatory)


  • We tend to overestimate the short-term impacts of a technology and underestimate its long-term impacts” – this citation is sometimes referred to as “Amara’s law”. Side-event speakers pointed out that it also applies to the benefits and impacts of ICTs on the environment. Measurement of impacts and knowledge dissemination are therefore key aspects of "Green ICT" analysis.


  • CO2 emissions savings and cost savings resulted from the side-event itself: Rahul Tongia in Bangalore (India) pointed out that he avoided flying to Copenhagen, which would have caused a carbon footprint larger than that of an average Indian’s annual carbon footprint. And the flight ticket that costs more than an average Indian’s yearly income.


Speakers at five global locations

COP15, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Kevin Grose, Communications co-ordinator, UNFCCC (moderator)
  • Jørgen Abild Andersen, Director-General, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, National IT and Telecom Agency, Denmark

Bangalore, India

  • Rahul Tongia, Programme Director, Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

  • Hilda Lam, Assistant Director, Hong Kong Observatory

Paris, France

  • Nathalie Girouard, Green Growth Strategy Co-ordinator, OECD
  • Graham Vickery, Head of the Information Economy group, OECD

Tokyo, Japan

  • Atsushi Taketani, Director, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan


Further information


For more information, contact Arthur Mickoleit, OECD: arthur.mickoleit [at]




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