The UN Secretary-General has said that “the digital revolution can be steered to combat climate change and advance global sustainability, environmental stewardship and human well-being.”
For that reason, the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) initiative has been recently launched as an important part of the broader follow-up to the Secretary-General's Roadmap on Digital Cooperation. CODES was initiated by UNEP, UNDP, the International Science Council, the German Environment Agency, the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age, and now is leading a global multi-stakeholder process.
In this context, its first mission is to co-develop an “Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age” to identify the key shifts and strategic priorities needed to harness digital technologies to accelerate environmentally and socially sustainable development. Taking advantage of one of the last spaces to present observations to this plan, the Latin American Institute of Terraforming sent a document with its comments this month. Among the most critical points that we believe can be reinforced in the draft presented, we highlight:
A submission by the “Latin American Institute of Terraforming” for the special consultation called “The Environmental Impacts and Benefits of the Internet,” launched by the ITU Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) in October 2021.
According to a November 2021 survey of IPCC scientists, a large majority believe that we are heading for a 3,0°C global temperature increase due to political inaction. In this context, it is urgent to rethink the role of digitalization and its contribution to global warming, according to scientific evidence. It is risky to assume that the new efficiencies enabled by ICT will suddenly start creating significant carbon savings in the economy at large without a strategic role for governance. Therefore, the catalytic role of the ITU must be even more critical, assertive, and decisive for the challenge of the climate crisis so as to be able to drive digital environmental justice. To this end, we suggest five actions (of many others that can be implemented), based on scientific evidence, that can be considered by ITU around greenhouse gas emissions due to ICT use:
This talk announced the call by the “Latin American Institute of Terraforming (terraforminglatam.net) and was carried out in the context of the International Seminar on Architecture and Design “Views from the gender perspective” of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile, on September 7, 2021.
Paz Peña O. is a consultant and activist who seeks to build bridges between digital technologies, feminism, and social justice. More information at www.pazpena.com
English translation: Natalia Tranchino Molina.
I would like to begin this talk by quoting one of my favorite thinkers, feminist Rosi Braidotti (2015), with a quote that I think captures very well the feeling of many of us. Particularly, those who grew up in the 20th century and were used to a world that now seems far away; the idea that this century and its immense complexity unsettles us, to the point of interrupting our daily lives.
Human hubris aside, unless one is comfortable with the current multidimensional complexity, no one can feel truly at home in the 21st century.
Without a doubt, one of the causes of this immense complexity is the unrelenting climate crisis. Reading the related news and witnessing the critical change of the local climate, it seems that, for some time now we are at home, yet we have lost the feeling of home.
What are the new rules of living in a warming planet? Can we design an Anthropocene from the logics of feminist theory?
In truth, I am here to make you a formal invitation to think about it. However, before I hand out the invite, I would like to provide you with some context so that you understand from what place I am talking about.
We joined the Libanese writer Joey Ayoub in “The Fire These Times” to talk about a piece written by Paz Peña for the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch): “Bigger, more, better, faster: The ecological paradox of digital economies”.