The current ICT industry is environmentally unsustainable, and it's up to industry to push the European Union (EU) to legislate around lowering carbon emissions, according to an EC representative.
When it comes to climate change, IT is a big part of the problem, but it is can also be part of the solution, delegates at the European Green IT Summit at the Sheraton Hotel in London heard.
The IT industry has a role to play in enabling the economies of Western Europe to achieve economic growth while reducing the rate of carbon emissions, explained John Doyle, sustainable development policy coordinator, DG INFSO, European Commission. But "deep structural change is needed".
Doyle urged delegates to lobby the EU to create clear environmental standards and laws. "The role of public service is to be bullied by you into doing the right thing. We need you kicking down the doors at Brussels."
"We must put IT at the core of energy efficiency to combat climate change. But it's unclear on how we need to re-engineer ICT to transition to become a 'low carbon, high growth economy'," said Doyle.
Doyle said IT needs to innovate "out of this mess" to reduce carbon emissions. "About 34.5 percent of all private-sector research in the world is done in the ICT sector, more than any other sector. We have a social duty to address this, and there are things we can stop doing today, and things we need to start doing."