Reflections on Digital Future – Digitalisation powering environmental protection


The European Union Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva in the capacity as Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the Geneva Internet Platform, in partnership with the International Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) invite you to a series of dialogues – From Geneva: Reflections on digital future – on issues of importance for the Geneva and global audiences.

Digital revolution is changing the way we work, live and solve challenges. Numerous ground-breaking opportunities for environmental protection and climate action are offered by new technologies and digitalisation. AI for example can strengthen climate predictions, enable smarter decision-making for decarbonizing industries and show us the effects of extreme weather, just to name a few.

As we strive for digital economies that will put people at their heart, foster international development and protect human rights and freedoms we also need a better understanding of the environmental footprint of our economic development, including ICT’s growing carbon footprint.

UN Secretary’s General Roadmap for Digital Cooperation warns that operations related to ICT are expected to represent up to 20 per cent of global electricity demand, with one third stemming from data centres alone. Therefore, how can we truly benefit from the technology’s environmental solutions and use the digital revolution to advance environmental stewardship? How can we appropriately harness digital opportunities while limiting adverse effects of digitalisation on the environment? How can we build strong partnerships among regions to support digital transition that powers environmental protection across the globe?


  • Ilias Iakovidis, Advisor, Green digital transformation, DG CONNECT, European Commission
  • David Jensen, Coordinator of the Digital Transformation Task Force at the United Nations Environment Programme
  • Mitja Jermol, Program Committee Chair in AI and Circular Economy, International Research Centre for AI
  • Reyna Ubeda, Project Officer, International Telecomunication Union
  • Flurina Wäspi, Consultant, Policy Network of Environment and Digitalisation, Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum