Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Can you spot the difference? The World Business Summit on Climate Change drops ICT as part of Thought Leadership Series

Take a close look at the two pictures and see if you can see any difference. In the middle of actual summit, all of a sudden and without explanation, the expected paper on ICT was removed from the page… A number of ICT companies are participating at the summit, all of them with material that could have contributed to a report, so the question is why this happens.

Hard to see? Try this (and look at 8):

1. Screen capture With ICT

2. Without ICT

The process around the WBSCC has been one of the least transparent I have experienced for a “World Summit”. When there is a clear agenda that does not matter very much as this helps you to follow the agenda. But now things have become really mysterious.

ONE STEP FORWARD: On the initial draft for the full agenda there was no ICT companies in any of the plenary sessions. That was strange and after discussions with the organizers the panel was expanded and there was a whole table with ICT companies in the end [see earlier blog].

ONE STEP BACK: During the actual conference the page with the thought leadership papers was “downgraded”. All of a sudden there is no ICT paper among the papers. The aim of these papers is to:

“elucidating and creating awareness of the key elements in the business and policy response to the climate problem. The rationale for a Thought Leadership Series on Climate Change includes:

-A change in focus from stating we have a problem to communicating the solutions to the problem.

- The potential and opportunities inherent in tackling climate change."

Few other areas fit that description better than ICT and innovative solutions. B4E had it as a special theme, the European commission just issued a communication and from tomorrow OECD will host a high level meeting with focus on ICT.

That a climate summit 2009, that is meant to represent the business voice, is dropping ICT is both strange and worrying. The ICT sector and low carbon ICT solutions are one of the best examples of how new innovative thinking can turn reduced emissions into an opportunity. I really hope that it is not due to lobbying from companies in sectors that do not want to change.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the actual outcome of the summit.