The Potential of ICT to Contribute to Energy Efficiency and a European Low Carbon Economy

In March 2007, the European Council placed at the top of the political agenda an integrated policy for energy efficiency in the fight against climate change in order to ensure Europe's long-term commitment to a sustainable, highly energy-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting economy.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, at the end of January, leaders of business, government and civil society were called upon to enter into new forms of collaborative and innovative leadership to address the challenges posed by climate change.

At that very same time, Europe adopted a 'Climate Action and Renewable Energy package' addressing concretely the challenges posed by this worldwide top priority and by the ambitious targets agreed by the European Council – the triple 20 by 2020 – notably to save 20% of energy consumption by 2020 through energy efficiency, to increase to 20% the share of renewable energies and to reduce by 20% the emission of greenhouse gases.

Energy efficiency is likely to be a significant contributor to cutting carbon emissions by 2020 and the ICT sector, is pivotal in reaching those goals.

I am convinced that ICT has a key role to play in enabling energy efficiency improvements across the whole economy, thus lowering emissions and fighting climate change.

Commission President Barroso made this clear at the CeBiT conference last March by underlining that '...the real gains will come from ICT as an enabler to improve energy efficiency across the economy. ICT matters for energy reduction, especially in transport and the energy intensive sectors. ICT's ability to organize and innovate is a key factor'.

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