Dave's blog. Updates from Dave Carter, Head of MDDA.

Green Digital Charter starts to take shape

I’m currently in Malmo at the Eurocities Environment Forum where, amongst a wide range of discussions on cities tackling climate change, we are discussing how the digital agenda needs to go green. These discussions are bringing together city decision makers from a very wide range of interests, including environment, energy, regeneration, planning, engineering and ICT. We are looking at ways that, as well as being part of the problem, ICT could also be an innovative and dynamic part of the solution. On the one hand ICT/digital technologies are responsible for about the same amount of emissions as the airline industry (estimated at about 2%), but on the other hand these same technologies could be used to help us not only to reduce total emissions but also to make many of the things we do more energy efficient. So how? Firstly, we need to get our own houses in order and ensure that the ICT we do use is as green as possible, so looking at things like intelligent thin clients, virtualisation and greener data centres is a good start. Secondly, we need to find innovative ways of using ICT to monitor and reduce energy use, such as ‘real’ smart meters, ones which are really accessible and usable by energy users rather than just being used to help energy suppliers reduce their costs and workforces. Thirdly we need to start thinking of ways of linking this in with social networking so that users can start coming up with good content and applications for themselves, perhaps an on-line energy saving co-op or smart metering mash-ups for starters. So, over the next few months we’ll be working with other cities in Eurocities to come up with new ideas and then we are aiming to bring all this together in a “Green Digital Charter” which we’ll be launching at the Eurocities AGM in Stockholm in November. More on the Eurocities website and, of course, on the MDDA website.

Posted on: June 24, 2009.