Digital technologies can help countries manage and adapt to climate change. Yet, connectivity remains a significant global challenge, as nearly 3 billion people are still offline, the vast majority in low- and middle-income countries. Getting everyone connected can deliver massive development payoffs, for example by making communities more resilient to climate change through better access to information and service delivery.
While the digital sector is part of the climate change solution, it is also part of the problem. The carbon emissions from the sector range from 1.5 to 4 percent of global emissions, similar to that of the airline industry. To reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, emissions from the sector will need to be reduced by at least half by 2030. At the same time, there is a need to accelerate the use of digital technologies as solutions and enablers for climate action across other sectors, which will require more investment in digital infrastructure and more energy to power this infrastructure and devices.
This session will tackle the challenge of expanding access to digital technologies, including closing the connectivity gap, while doing so sustainably.