Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

You are here

ICT and Climate Change ICT and Climate Change

Resilient pathways: the adaptation of the ICT sector to climate change

The objectives of this report are to explore the impacts of climate change on the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the potential for adaptation, including the need for new standards to be developed. Climate change has risen rapidly up the agenda of international organizations, governments, communities and industry sectors in the past decade, reflecting the growing impact of climatic manifestations at multiple levels. With the potential to become a major disruptive factor in the achievement of economic growth and development over the next fifty years, climate change is playing an increasing role in processes of policy design, strategy implementation, livelihood maintenance and business practices around the globe. Simultaneously, ICT has been diffusing widely, and redefining the way in which information and knowledge are generated, captured and stored, processed and disseminated among an increasingly inter-connected society. While the ICT contribution to the abatement of carbon emissions, energy efficiency, monitoring climate-related patterns and events, and implementing adaptive practices (among other climate-related responses) has been explored since the early 2000s, much less is known about the adaptation of the ICT sector itself to climate change impacts. This report responds to the need of exploring further the effects of climate change on the ICT sector. It aims to raise awareness of the need to design and implement strategies for the sector to better prepare for, respond and adjust to the impacts of short- and long-term climatic manifestations. It gives an overview of the impacts, opportunities and challenges posed by climate change to sector stakeholders; it identifies existing and emerging adaptive measures and provides suggested actions to strengthen the ICT sector’s approach to adaptation. It is intended that this report will assist countries and companies in their efforts to improve resilience to the increasing risks and exploit opportunities posed by climate change. It is also expected that this report will foster new knowledge exchange on this topic, inform the design and implementation of adaptation strategies in the ICT sector, and contribute to further collaboration among ICT and climate change experts and practitioners at the international, national, sectoral and local levels.