New York, NY (BBN)- Close to 800 information and communication technology (ICT) experts from nearly 100 countries have wrapped up a United Nations meeting in Johannesburg by agreeing to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of ICTs.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that ICTs contribute around 2 to 2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is likely to grow as ICTs become more widely available.

In a resolution adopted at the close of the ten-day World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in South Africa on Thursday, ITU members agreed to reduce the emissions arising from the use of ICTs, in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), according to a UN press statement.

They also recognized that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to tackle climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce emissions across all industry sectors.

This can be done through the introduction and development of more energy efficient devices, applications and networks, as well as their environmentally sound disposal.

The resolution also acknowledged that ITU has committed to achieving climate neutrality within three years.

The Assembly also examined a number of other issues, including accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities and encouraging academic participation in ITU’s work.

Delegates agreed on a restructuring of ITU’s standards work and a revised focus that will strengthen the position of the UN agency as the world’s premier ICT standards body, the statement added.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-01November08-11:00 AM (BST)