Adaptive practices for the ICT sector will become part of the ?new normal? as climate change impacts increase. This is a key conclusion of a new report produced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The report, titled ?Resilient Pathways: The adaptation of the ICT sector to climate change,? recommends that positioning climate change in the sector?s agenda requires the active engagement of stakeholders at all levels, fostering the adoption of innovative measures to better cope with, respond, and adjust to change.
The report?s launch follows the addition of a new ICT solutions pillar in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)?s ?Momentum for Change? initiative, which ITU cited as a positive step towards strengthening the transformational potential of ICTs as part of climate change responses.
The ?resilient pathways? highlighted in the report constitute desirable routes of action amidst an increasingly interdependent and changing international environment.
The pathways can allow the ICT sector to go beyond short-term reactive measures, in order to improve its overall adaptability to future unforeseen effects, while approaching adaptation from a collaborative, multi-level perspective, the report said.
?Mainstreaming climate-resilient innovation in research and development needs to become a priority. We need to foster a new, more flexible mindset and new learning processes to take into account robustness in the face of climate change impact when designing these fundamental technologies,” ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Tour? said.
The report recommended a number of adaptive actions based on the principle of resilience. It highlighted, for example, the need for improvements in telecommunication service coverage, particularly in locations vulnerable to climate change impacts.
It also recommended the development of new work to strengthen the resilience of ICT infrastructure.
It noted that ICT sector stakeholders face the challenge of building greater awareness of, and resilience to climate change impacts, especially in the context of increasingly interconnected and interdependent business and supply chains. In this respect, the report highlighted the Nairobi Work Program on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP).
Also recommended in the report are the implementation of novel approaches to improve systems? diversity and interoperability, including virtualization, server networks and system backup, in order to ensure intra-sector redundancy, and thus the continuity of services and operations during climatic disturbances.