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By 2010, we seek to reduce global CO2 emissions from the operation of computers by 54 million tons per year, equivalent to the annual output of 11 million cars or 10–20 coal-fired power plants. With your help, this effort will lead to a 50% reduction in power consumption by computers by 2010, and committed participants could collectively save $5.5 billion in energy costs.12
Green ICT is and will be one of the most important ICT trends in the coming years, for as long as our Earth will hopefully remain to be a livable place. This is an area that Hong Kong must seize the opportunities to take a leadership role in Asia, and in our own country of China, simply because we can.
But our Government has once again fallen short. It has refused to conduct carbon footprint calculations let alone releasing those figures to the public – for the improbable reason that the problem will be too expensive to fix. On the other hand, with regard to the toxic materials inside products, we have seen a lack of will and expediency in legislative proposals for more imposing producer responsibilities. But it is still not too late.
Green ICT is good for business. Think about the money that corporations can save from power management. Adoption of new data center technologies and other measures like virtualization will spell opportunities for many ICT firms. Even carbon trading will bound to be a lucrative business in the not-too-distant future. In the end, most importantly, this is good for our planet, and our future generations, if there are going to be future generations at all. So why are we waiting? I will:
* Organize the formation of “Green ICT Alliance” by incorporating major trade associations, ICT bodies and Government, to adopt standard practices in green ICT, including for the procurement of ICT products, and the adoption of corporate guidelines and procedures for ICT power management and recycling of hardware; * Consult the ICT industry, users and all stakeholders on introducing Producer Responsibilities Scheme to cover ICT products; * Advocate the expansion of PC recycling effort, with more direct support and subsidies from Government to assist NGOs in providing storage facilities, recruitment of volunteers, etc., as this will also benefit the underprivileged communities by providing them with more access to recycled equipment; * Call for the adoption of electronic books, and the sharing of educational materials by schools, through technology platforms such as Wiki to “lighten the burden” of students (on their shoulders) and parents (in their wallets)