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Scroll through to see young people's take on the global climate emergency, and the work that they are doing to fight against climate change.
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The Intersection between ICT and Climate Action by Shirley Bett

The Intersection between ICT and Climate Action by Shirley Bett

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We all know that information and communications technologies (ICTs) have revolutionized our world...ICTs are also very vital to confronting the problems we face as a planet: the threat of climate change...Indeed ICTs are part of the solution. Already these technologies are being used to cut emissions and help countries adapt to the effects of climate change...Governments and industries that embrace a strategy of green growth will be environmental champions and economic leaders in the twenty-first century.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General. (As He then was.)

Climate action is a sustainable development goal number 13, which means taking stepped up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate impacts which includes climate-related hazards in all countries and this is by integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning and improving education, hence the question begs how will information and communication technology help in combating climate change? Information and communication technology include remote sensing and geographical information systems which have expanded the possibilities for risk assessment of multiple hazards and enabled the development of various scenarios and contingency plans and this is by having risk plans which will help the countries to cope with exposure to hazardous levels and have the ability to cope.

For example, from 1980 to 2005, over 7000 natural disasters occurred worldwide, and over millions of lives were lost 90% of those disasters were caused by weather and water-related events such as floods and droughts but through the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and science weather forecasting and climate monitoring, it has reduced such high casualty rates. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)has also helped in accessing information and increasing knowledge among policymakers and the general population.

The Resolution 182 (Guadalajara ,2010) provides for the role of telecommunication/ICT in regarding climate change and protection of the environment in stating that Opinion 3 of the 2009 World Telecommunication Policy Forum, on Information and Communication Technology(ICT )and the environment, which recognizes that telecommunications/ICTs can make a substantial contribution to mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and calls for formulating future inventions and efforts for effectively addressing climate change and it also considered that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions had risen by more than 70 percent since 1970, having an effect on global warming, changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other long-term effects and that climate change is acknowledged as a potential threat to all countries and needs a global response and the forum also highlighted that the role of telecommunications/ICTs in tackling the challenge of climate change encompasses a wide range of activities, which includes, but not limited to: the promotion of telecommunications/ICTs as alternatives to other technologies that consume more energy; the development of energy-efficient devices, applications and networks; the development of energy-efficient working methods; the implementation of satellite and ground-based remote sensing platforms for environmental observation, including weather monitoring; and the use of telecommunications/ICTs to warn the public of dangerous weather events and provide communication support for governmental and non-governmental organization aid providers to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions; that remote-sensing applications on board satellites and other radiocommunication systems are important tools for climate monitoring, environmental observation, disaster prediction, detection of illegal deforestation, and detection and mitigation of the negative effects of climate change.

To conclude as the acronyms ICT stands for Information,Technology, and Communication so information must be spread around the world about the effects of greenhouse gases for climate change so that both the stakeholders and the public are aware and they should make changes in both policies and also the emission of those gases, while communications such as weather forecasting on the trend of climate change to narrow down the risk and be able to control the outcome and technology should be created that helps to prevent greenhouse gas emission and also allows the trading of those gases with the minimal risk possible to the environment just as provided by the Kyoto protocol(1998) and read with the United Nations framework convention on climate change(1994).


About the Author

"My name is Shirley Bett. I am a law graduate and I am from Nairobi Kenya. I am very charismatic and opinionated with things I am very interested about and these things include; human rights and climate change and world trade. I have participated and led teams to various moot court competitions that are about climate change and coming from a developing country climate change really affects us. I signed up for United Nations Volunteer so that I could be able to make a difference and become a voice for the generations to come."

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Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth supports all young people and their diversity in exercising their right to freedom of expression. Reach Not Preach platform serves as a safe space for all young people to share their take on the topic of climate change. The views expressed in the Reach Not Preach platform are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth and the United Nations.

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