Greening Internet governance – Environmental sustainability and digital transformation – PL 04 2020

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12 June 2020 | 17:00-18:00 | Studio The Hague | Video recording | Transcript | Forum
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 2

Proposals: #100, #126, #127, #128, #154

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Session information

Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2020

Time: 17:00 - 18:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Registration deadline: Tuesday 9 June 2020 -> REGISTER NOW!

Session Trailer

Session teaser

Internet Governance is inseparable from the well-being of our physical environment. This plenary considers how all stakeholders in Europe can make a difference now to ensure the development of environmentally sustainable internet and digital technologies, by eliminating their carbon footprint and their dependence on non-renewable and inhumane sources of energy and raw materials.

The session will ask representatives from governments, the technical community, and civil society to present clear, and feasible action plans for their contribution to ensuring the environmental sustainability of internet design and use. It will consider what sorts of accountability mechanisms are needed to support all stakeholders in their respective roles towards Greening Internet Governance.

Session description

Internet-dependent technologies are integral part of our daily lives. Their energy needs, data-storage facilities, and planetary architecture have a direct impact on the physical environment, locally, regionally, and internationally. These technologies also play an increasingly central role in global efforts to find solutions to tackle the climate crisis and to promote environmental protection. Moreover, the growing demands of an Internet-dependent and interconnected society are contributing to unprecedented levels of e-waste and energy consumption, conflict mineral mining, and negative effects on vulnerable natural landscapes. Consequently, there is an urgent need to address the environmental impact of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry as a core issue for Internet governance in its technical, socio-economic, cultural, human rights, and political dimensions. 

As Europe moves to implement the European Green Deal, can its climate commitments be transformed into concrete policy actions and concerted solutions for sustainable Internet futures? This plenary session calls for the Internet governance community to address the environmental impact of next-generation technologies (e.g., the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), data centers and server facilities, manufacturing, etc.) in light of our collective dependence on fossil fuels. The aim is to generate a shared project for to enable all stakeholders to urgently move together so that Internet governance can contribute to mitigating the climate crisis – i.e., strategies for a circular economy, by promoting the design of rights-based and environmentally conscious technologies, environmental accountability, and incentives to reuse and repair.

The objective of this session is to produce concrete commitments for action to promote a sustainable Internet based on Europe's commitment to a green future. 

Questions addressed in this session include, but are not limited to:

  • How is environmental sustainability connected to Internet Governance, and how can Internet Governance contribute to sustainable futures?
  • What regulatory frameworks are needed in order to ensure an environmentally sustainable digital transformation in Europe?
  • How can all stakeholders work together to accelerate a transition to a circular economy able to deliver the environmental sustainability of internet-connected technologies – from infrastructure, design, and manufacture, to services and consumption?

This plenary considers how all stakeholders in Europe can make a difference now to ensure the development of environmentally sustainable internet and digital technologies by eliminating their carbon footprint and their dependence on non-renewable and inhumane sources of energy and raw materials.

The session will ask representatives from governments, the technical community, and civil society to present clear and feasible action plans for their contribution to ensuring the environmental sustainability of Internet design and use. It will consider what sorts of accountability mechanisms are needed to support all stakeholders in their respective roles towards greening Internet governance, and welcomes rich and robust discussion.

Format

  1. Welcome & video introduction
  2. Initial statements
  3. Open Q&A
  4. Wrap Up
  5. Rapporteur intervention
  6. Closing remarks from the moderators

Further reading

Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents. Please note we cannot offer web space, so only links to external resources are possible. Example for an external link: Website of EuroDIG

EU commitments to Green Internet Governance

1. European Digital Strategy (Shaping Europe’s Digital Future)

  • A circular electronics initiative, mobilizing existing and new instruments in line with the policy framework for sustainable products of the forthcoming circular economy action plan, to ensure that devices are designed for durability, maintenance, dismantling, reuse and recycling and including a right to repair or upgrade to extend the lifecycle of electronic devices and to avoid premature obsolescence (by end 2021).
  • Initiatives to achieve climate-neutral, highly energy efficient and sustainable data centres by no later than 2030 and transparency measures for telecoms operators on their environmental footprint.
  • Destination Earth, initiative to develop a high precision digital model of Earth (a “Digital Twin of the Earth”) that would improve Europe’s environmental prediction and crisis management capabilities.

2. A European Strategy on Data

  • A Common European Green Deal data space, to use the major potential of data in support of the Green Deal priority actions on climate change, circular economy, zero-pollution, biodiversity, deforestation and compliance assurance. The “GreenData4All” and ‘Destination Earth’ (digital twin of the Earth) initiatives will cover concrete actions.
  • Establish a common European data space for smart circular applications making available the most relevant data for enabling circular value creation along supply chains. A particular focus will be concentrated at the outset on the sectors targeted by the Circular Economy Action Plan, such as the built environment, packaging, textiles, electronics, ICT and plastics. Digital ‘product passports’ will be developed, that will provide information on a product’s origin, durability, composition, reuse, repair and dismantling possibilities, and end-of-life handling.
  • Initiate a pilot for early implementation of the data strategy in the context of the ‘zero pollution ambition’ to harvest the potential of an already data-rich policy domain with data on chemicals, air, water and soil emission, hazardous substances in consumer products, etc. which is underexploited and where early results can benefit consumers and the Planet directly.

3. Circular Economy action plan

The Commission will present a ‘Circular Electronics Initiative’ mobilizing existing and new instruments. In line with the new sustainable products policy framework, this initiative will promote longer product lifetimes and include, among others, the following actions:

  • regulatory measures for electronics and ICT including mobile phones, tablets and laptops under the Ecodesign Directive so that devices are designed for energy efficiency and durability, reparability, upgradability, maintenance, reuse and recycling. The upcoming Ecodesign Working Plan will set out further details on this.
  • Printers and consumables such as cartridges will also be covered unless the sector reaches an ambitious voluntary agreement within the next six months;
  • focus on electronics and ICT as a priority sector for implementing the ‘right to repair’, including a right to update obsolete software;
  • regulatory measures on chargers for mobile phones and similar devices, including the introduction of a common charger, improving the durability of charging cables, and incentives to decouple the purchase of chargers from the purchase of new devices;
  • improving the collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment22 including by exploring options for an EU-wide take back scheme to return or sell back old mobile phones, tablets and chargers.

People

Focal Point

  • Minda Moreira

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Michael J. Oghia
  • Marianne Franklin - IRPC
  • Vittorio Bertola
  • IRPC Steering Committee Reps
  • Marcel Krummenauer
  • Alex Lutz
  • Sofia Badari
  • Mando Rachovitsa
  • Livia Walpen
  • Leandro Navarro
  • Lea Rosa Holtfreter
  • Sebastiaan Berting
  • David Franquesa

Key Participants

Key Participants are experts willing to provide their knowledge during a session – not necessarily on stage. Key Participants should contribute to the session planning process and keep statements short and punchy during the session.

Co-Moderators

Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.

Reporter

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

  • First online meeting: 26 March 2020
  • Second online meeting: 21 April 2020
  • Third online meeting: 14 May 2020
  • Fourth online meeting: 05 June 2020

The minutes of the meetings and collaborative working notes are available here.

Messages

Messages commented and under discussion. Please see https://comment.eurodig.org/eurodig-2020-messages/pl-4-greening-internet-governance-environmental-sustainability-and-digital-transformation/.


Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/greening-internet-governance-environmental-sustainability-and-digital-transformation.

Video record

https://youtu.be/XvCciO9lYX0?t=28075

Transcript

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This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.


>> NADIA TJAHJA: I would like to immediately go in the final Plenary here in Studio The Hague. It has been a great journey, we have many wonderful discussions and interactions. I don’t know if EuroDIG wants to comment before the last Plenary.

I haven’t heard from them. Before we start, let’s go over the code of conduct, EuroDIG is all about dialogue.

Slides. My apologies, it is about the dialogue and your contribution and your thoughts, ideas that make these sessions inspiring, engaging, both learning and also contributing we hope you will choose to actively participate in this last session.

You joined the studio, I hope that you will rename yourself to ensure that we know who we’re talking to. We will unmute you when you have a question. Please do turn your video so we can see who we’re talking to.

I would like to introduce to you the moderators of Plenary 4 Alexandra Lutz and Michael Oghia.

Moderators, you have the floor.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: We can get right into it. I’m Michael Oghia and the context of this session, the hat I’m wearing is that of the Steering Committee member of the Internet Rights and Principle Coalition. It is such an honor to be comoderating this session with Alexandra Lutz and it is incredibly encouraging to witness the EuroDIG community recognize the importance of the topic of this Plenary. We have come a long way sense we first discussed ICT sustainability at EuroDIG in 2017. The urgency surrounding this area now has never been greater. Interdependent technologies are an integral part of our daily lives, even more so considering the pandemic. ICTs have a direct impact on the physical environment locally, regionally and internationally. While these technologies play an increasingly central role in global efforts to find solutions to tackle the climate crisis and promote environmental protection, the growing demands of an internet dependent, interconnected society contributes to levels of energy consumption, mineral meaning, dumping in the global South and negative effects on vulnerable, natural landscapes, consequently, there is a need to address the environmental impact of the ICT industry as a core issue for Internet Governance and it is technical, socioeconomic, cultural, Human Rights and political dimensions.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Hello, everyone. Thank you to EuroDIG for making this essential topic into a Plenary. I’m Alexandra Lutz. I work at the European parliament. Europe is really in this unique position to make a turn and lead to a way of sustainable technologies. As we move to implement the European green deal within the context of both COVID‑19 and the crisis, it is fundamental that the environmental imperatives are embedded into a digital strategy, our innovation, our infrastructure choices. This session, it is all about calling for the Internet Governance community to address the environmental impact of next generation technologies. As we said, the impacts ranges from energy needs of the IoT, AE, because of extraction of essential materials, manufacturing, transportation, youth, management of ICTs, electronic devices, the aim is to generate a shared project to enable all stakeholders to urgently move together. That’s why we have a wide range of speakers today offering insight into how various stakeholder groups are working to make the interrupt more presentable.

Today we will describe first the word that’s currently – work currently being done and what more is needed and it will give concrete advice on translating ongoing and future actions into Internet Governance processes. So we really invite you to engage with us, to ask questions, recognize all of the things we have described and to resolve them into a collaborative multistakeholder effort. We’ll begin with initial statements of our speakers and to be inclusive in terms of leaning we decided to start off with a video message who will speak in French, for non‑French speaker, it will be subtitled. Here we go.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. Wonderful. Thank you so much, thank you as well, Nadia, everyone there at the studio for being able to accommodate this request.

Without further ado, let’s go to our speakers. First we’ll have the opening statements of our speakers. To follow‑up David’s excellent points, I think it is really great to have – to introduce Ilias Iakovidis who represents and works with DG CONNECT, European Commission.

The floor is yours.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Ilias Iakovidis, I work with DG CONNECT, European Commission. I would like to tell you today, it is a little bit of the bigger picture to set the scene for this session and to of course answer questions later on to avoid longer speech, we just do a quick 3 slides to introduce the topic.

If I could have the slides, please. I don’t know if they’re displayed.

First of all, let’s see what is the relationship between the internet and the SDGs as a whole before we move and dive into the environment of SDGs. I call internet the whole ICT sector, ICT sector internet, both basically for the purposes of my speech is the same thing. Some analysis shows that there is a positive correlation with about 11 of the 17 SDGs. Overall 65% good things. It is very well clear that SDGs like 9, 8, 3 like on the screen, it is no brainer that we have a lot of good examples where digital helps.

When it comes to environmental ones like SDG12, 13, life underwater, life on land, climate action, things are blurry, it is not clear. As you have seen in the video before, there is great progress. The right hand is achieving a lot. The left hand is undoing it almost.

It is not yet clear what is the net effect, what we know for sure. It is that the potential for net effect, it is 10 times more good than the footprint of ICT. That’s the potential. Where we are now, we barely are two times good than the footprint of ICT. The foot present of ICT, it disputes how to calculate, we have estimates between the one and a half percent of total GHGs through 3.5%, you see the huge discrepancy shows we still don’t have agreed and universal metrics to show the impact of IT. There are these environmental ones we have to now deep dive and that’s where I’ll show you what the commission is doing about it. There is one SDG, it is internet digitalization, we make it worse. That’s SDG12. For SDG12, responsible consumption protection, think of yourself as a consumer and how often you buy your phone. If you know it takes 32kilos of raw material to build. 2 GMs of a chip, imagine the earth and the billion – we throw away a billion of phones, they’re thrown away, only 20% are refurbished, recycled to take back. Most of them are in your drawers or thrown away. There is a huge waste. The eWaste, it is the fastest growing waste of categories of waste. That’s a big problem. We’ll show you now, we have to really progress on. Next slide what, the commission has done, it is the first continent that’s taking such measures, in the sustainability of ITs. What we have published green deal was published in September of 20, our Holy Bible pointing to many things, pointing to the economy, pointing to mobility, pointing to energy, Al culture, and it points to what IT should do so we published digital strategy and in there we have actually committed that we will try to make the electronic section, sector, circular. We’re working with so‑called echo design legislative acts to put mobile phone, iPhones, laptops and industrial devices under that. We have committed as Europe to make our data centers climate neutral by 2030 which is quite a big goal and we still have to see what are the best ways to get there. We’re working on that.

We have promised that we will actually do what is the basic infrastructure for any achievement, that’s to measure, now we’re flying in blind, for our economy, we done even know where the product is made, what kind of materials, where the materials come from, what are the components. The economies, they’re running blind. Just to understand, before we actually make it circular, we have to make it – we have to get the information going.

That is something that’s published in the circular plan and the green data, the circular economic data, spaces will enable that and we have committed to create interoperable data spaces where a product passport, we have a product passport that will give the information where the material comes from, what is the origin of the product, what is the repairability, they want to know how to dismantle it, what is the recyclability of it, the footprint, all of this data can be captured and give ton different actors from consumers, business to business, to authorities when they want to boy green products. Next slide.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Being mindful of time, we’ll have to come to an end.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: The last slide shows we need to act on legislative actions, act on a funding and piloting, so commission has three things in hand, it can legislate, it can fund and it can bring partners together and this is what we really need on an international scene and I’ll leave it here and answer questions heart on. Thank you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. I can’t stress enough, everyone in this session, that if – the whole point why we structure it this way, we want the speakers to just give a very baseline kind of experience of what to expect and we want you to ask questions. We want you to be engaging. Please keep that in mind throughout the presentation and thank you so much, Ilias Iakovidis, to all of the speakers for your patience, understanding of the format.

Please.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: That was a great kick‑off presentation. Next we will have Alexandra Lutz.

>> OLIVIER VERGENST: I’m Olivier Vergeynst, I’m with GreenIT Belgium, we’re a part of network of experts from sustainable IT since 2004, more recently people started to realize that IT is not just a virtual world with serious impact on our environment as explained by Ilias. Next slide, please, and 2019, there was a study published on the environmental imprint of the digital world. A key lesson from the study, that the main print, it is not the data centers, instead, the biggest social impact comes from user equipment, your smartphones, laptops, television sets, collected objects and it is true for recall environmental indicators.

I didn’t does this equipment have an impact? The sheer number, 34 billion pieces of equipment in 2019 rising to 50 billion expected by 2025. What are the key actions to take to reduce the digital impact, it is not so much that we have the emails, this benefits only marginally. The most important, to buy less devices to keep them longer, to give them a second life when you don’t use them anymore.

There is a very hypotension to create a new circular economy in IT according to recent study from the European economic and social Committee looking only at mobile phones, the refurbished sector, generating more than 40,000 jobs and save 30 million over the period. Imagine what we could achieve if we send this to all digital devices.

Next slide, please.

Adopting green IT best practices is strategic for any organization, reaping several benefits, Kansas reduction, risk reduction, improved user experience and you can get your IT to help you achieve several of the Sustainable Development Goals as mentioned.

To increase the awareness of the public and organizations about the benefits of sustainable I Texas we’re working to create a European association and hope that many of you will join us.

Thank you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you very much. That was brilliant.

Especially because you mentioned – I really appreciate that you mentioned the data centers, they’re often what is, as you said the focus of all of the discussion as it relates to the ICT industry and ICTs and sustainability. With that, I think it is a great opportunity to move to Emma. To Emma who will talk a bit more about the data center side and what that means for ICT sustainability.

>> EMMA FRYER: I needed someone else to unmute me! Hey! The UK data center, the challenge is to meet the exploding demand for digital data without pear legal increase in energy consumption. We’re doing well but it is a challenge. Data centers are a core part of the infrastructure, they transmit, receive, digital data and we’re reliant on them in everyday lives, they’re pervasive, son shopping, buying tickets, government services, everything, health, retail, traffic, logistics, you name it, they’re involved. They’re a part of our lives. Also they’re electric intensive, having said that, as stable and predictable users of energy, they’re actually well positioned to contribute to that. The first, obvious one, it is that they’re good anchor customers of renewables and that’s not enough. There is no Good to take up the existing capacity. The second one, we cannot expect to fund additional things to scale when you have the generation through power purchase agreements and the sector is world leading in this. That’s happening.

Then next slide, please.

What we can also do, it is demand side response, we have embedded emergency capacity, that will enable a more distributed grid relying more on the internet renewables. However, that’s a short‑term solution because those are the diesel generators which are not ideal so the next stage, it is to move on to what we have called essentially a mixture of fuel cell and battery storage so that we actually become a consumer within the electricity grid. That’s something that companies are investing in at the moment. Eventually, we’ll be part of that generating mix, that’s what we want to see. Don’t forget, that by consolidating IT functions, we are actually massively improving the efficiency of the way that IT is done so just the very nature.

I have a couple of final slides which pop on to if they’re here, just about what we’re doing here in the challenges, I have recently issued a data center energy roadmap in that sector, the challenges, and the last slide will show you three slides, the throw sections that we’re particularly targeting as our first step. I’m happy to talk about that later. I thought I would set the scene. Thank you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Thank you for the time management. Very smooth. Thank you.

Next we’ll go to Chris from ClimateAction.tech and Green Web Foundation, a community of tech persons involved in these questions.

Chris, it is your turn.

>> CHRIS ADAMS: Hello there. I’m Chris Adams and from ClimateAction.tech and Green Web Foundation and we have tracked grown energy, we’ll talk about that a lot because of the primary driver for climate change is burning fossil fuels to create the energy to run the internet and creating the devices that we use to access the internet. I’ll give three things that need it happen. It needs to be trivial to trust that infrastructure is running on green energy. It is worth investing time and how we do this because we already have lots of the pieces of the puzzle ready. We already use the duo many name system and we already use HTPS to trust the domain name like EuroDIG.org points to a particular set of servers running in a particular place in the world. In the energy world itself, the energy sector, we can trust when powers coming from grown sources because we issue certificates there. It is the thing that I’m surprised by, we don’t really think to link the two separate sectors in any way to actually have a way of checking that the infrastructure we use is running on green power. I don’t really have time to get into the complexities, but this would be a good start in linking the digital world to the physical world that’s actually parallel u it is a responsibility, mistake to shift the responsibility to end users for the carbon footprint of accessing and using the internet. Right now, if specialists with intimate knowledge of how it is built has a hard time on digital services, it is unrealistic to expect end servers to know this and adjust behaviors. We can’t get people to even have sensible passwords, how will we be able to change how they browse and to be common. Now, the digital services replace a carbon intensive activity, for example, us flying to a conference. From a governance point of view, it is easier to spend time and money incentivizing a small number of actors upstream like those that make digital services to work to accelerate a green decarbonized grid than trying to spend lots of time and money teaching hundreds of millions of people on how to change how they use of the interrupt for caching and technical terms, it is the biggest machine in the world and it is hard to understand. Finally, I think that we need to use public electric procurement as a lever and that we need to have policy to actively not buy from any providers invested in fossil fuels and not taking steps to green infrastructure when we spend minute, in Europe alone, there is a large lever spent on IT, we can look to success stories of other parts of the internet for inspiration here. If we look at how, say, in the accessibility world, clear lines were drawn in the sand where they were part of the accessibility guidelines, we saw that people who actually wanted to sell digital service to governments, they had to take accessibility serious to actually win a contract. This meant that accessibility stopped being nice to have, it became non‑negotiable. I think that this – this is making government services, traditionally unavailable, inaccessible available to millions more people than they are otherwise. It helped grow the field of inclusive design. In the same which that – this is more than nice to have, it used to be non‑negotiable and we have to have an internet running on green power for this reason and made from devices with green lever and using policy as a lever on how public money is spent in particular as a lever to speed it along is a thing we should definitely be doing. Thank you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Fantastic. Thank you for that. I appreciate that you can bring in the perspective of code as well. This I think is incredibly important to linking it to Internet Governance because it is obviously very much about the hardware that runs the internet, what is the internet itself as well? It is the tube, the connections, whatnot, it is obviously what we’re interfacing with, it is so important to recognize that just like there is different layers of the internet, sustainability, it should be permeating all of the layers.

With that in mind, I think it is a good segue to the next speaker, Beat Estermann, who is coming from Bern in Switzerland. Please, you have the floor.

>> BEAT ESTERMANN: Good afternoon, everybody. May I have the slides, please? Last year the Bern University carried out a study on the topic of digitalization and environment. I’ll present the outcomes of the study regarding issues tackled at the international level.

It was mandated by the Swiss federal Office of The environment for an overview for opportunities and risks brought by the digital transfer medication regarding the environment. In addition, the study was supposed to identify the areas of collective action as needed to make the best use of the opportunities at hand or to reduce important risks. The study consisted of the review of literature, of expert interviews as well as online survey among 800 respondents, familiar with digitalization and/or environmental issues. Next slide, please.

Digitalization has an impact on the environment at three levels. First, there is the direct impact due to the use of new or different devices.

Think of energy consumption of electronic waist but also of videoconferencing replacing in person international conferences. Second, ICT is used to improve the ecological efficiency of many applications. Third, first and second order effects our consumption behavior think of increased demand in the wake of efficiency gains. This feedback effects the rebound effect. Now this is one of the key insights of the research I want you to retain from the session. So far, digitalization has had a negative net effect on the environment. This economic system, it runs and it is instrumental to the environment, digitalization, it is aggravating things.

A reversal of the trend, it requires concerted action. Next slide, please.

As our study has shown, we are facing global challenges in the environmental sector and this is why we’re here today, the challenges require not only national, but international cooperation, there is a clear need to increase our efforts here. Our study results show that Civil Society’s opportunities and participating in the environmental policy issues at the international level so far have been insufficient. Areas for international coordination is most needed concerns measures to promote the circular economy and to share the environmental data. These issues cannot be tackled at a national level alone. Areas that would also benefit from international coordination comprise incentives to reduce environmentally harmful consumption, promoting the use of efficiency and enhancing digital applications, transparency regarding environmental costs and materials and improvement of data protection through technical measures.

Thank you for your attention.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Thank you so much. It was a short and sweet presentation as to what are concretes to make leverages and the limits into the digital sustainability. It would be helpful for our next speaker, who will be Lea Elsemuller who is a representative at Green Youth, Baden‑Wurttemberg, GER and who is taking her fight at the local level. It is your turn.

>> LEA ELSEMULLER: Hey, everybody.

Thank you to EuroDIG for inviting me.

I hope you hear me good.

I’m here today to talk about my very local fight for more sustainability and climate justice everywhere but in the area of Internet Governance, digitalization and AI, I’m a town counselor in a little German town that decided to become planet neutral by 2030. So quite ambitious goals. We have a lot of research in machine learning and AI, maybe some of you have heard already of the initiative, a research cooperation for AI and the machine learning which is based here as well. So as a town counselor, I’m a member of a Committee which discusses the ethical, socialism indications of research here. So you can say I’m doing politics and environment in which research and future technologies like AI and climate protection play important roles as a center.

My goal now, it is to bring these two things together.

What are we discussing locally? The first point, it is important point for me, I’m also a student of computer science, it is a topic of education and research. For me, it is essentially that every researcher and every student in computer science knows what they’re developing in terms of energy footprint. We have to talk more about energy efficiency and brokering in universities. We use as few resources as necessary, we need to discuss that within research and teach that.

My second point, it is check what you’re using. As a town, it is important for us that our research internet are using clean energy, it is not always easy to get them to use it, normally the research buildings do not belong to the city, but a combination of good reasons to change, good work of our municipal and energy providers and a lot of resistance got some of the institutes to change.

The third point, use local research, use the local development and technology for the good. Locally, we’re discussing the use of AI against climate change. Many researchers are interested in climate issues, there is a reason we have such a big movement of scientists for the future for example. The debate of climate change, it is a scientific debate. Here it is my experience, when you talk to the research community about this stuff, they listen. Some of them, they even started to work on a white paper of research learning and client and on the chances that technology provides. This year, there is a Working Group of machine learning in the climate sciences. So discussing climate issues has an impact on your own research and development and development is not detached from the local environment and of course the local discussions have an impact on your research.

Thank you for listening. I am really looking forward to the discussion.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you for being here.

I think – the idea of having this kind of discussion without a strong youth perspective, it is really pointless. So much of this work, it is not just about going into the future, it is about making sure that we have a future to preserve, to begin with.

So thank you for being here, Lea.

With that said, we’re actually going to close the opening statements. Those initial statements. It is just – you know, it is really good timing so far. We have so many good questions. Based on everything that you have heard so far, we have a very quick poll. Do you mind bringing that up real quick?

>> AUKE PALS: We’re doing a couple of questions. After that, we’ll do the poll.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: No worries. We have actually had kind of a we identified a special question from writers of future, Berlin, I think given what we just talked about from Lea, I hope you don’t mind me suggesting that we go to her first.

>> I’ll unmute her.

>> Friday for too much, they’re demanding immediate action is taken to solve the climate crisis and for future worth living in. According to that, what I could hear in this conference, we’re all agreeing on that. From our point of view, people in politics and economy, they’re constantly ignoring this crisis we are in.

So sustainability, it should be obligator, we have the opportunities and the knowledge. We don’t act. So my question, to the EuroDIG, it is what concrete measures do you see to ensure that responsibility is taken on a holistic basis, especially when people are not acting by themselves.

Thank you so much.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: An excellent question. Thank you so much. Can I moderate this or are you moderating the questions?

>> AUKE PALS: I have received many questions from the chat. Yeah. I can read that for you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: It is best to take a couple of questions and people can – any of our speakers, raise your hand at that point and say which one you would like to respond to.

Can we take maybe one, two more questions before we head to the speakers?

>> AUKE PALS: Yeah. Definitely.

I have a question, should the quality play a role for turntable for redundant but still work in devices?

>> That’s an interesting question, it is on green public procurement, what you actually do and turning to Lea, others who may want to answer that.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: Did you mean me?

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: There is the European and local level, I think your contribution would be nice on that one.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: You want to go first? Go ahead.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: On the municipality, that’s the key, actually what is really important, it is that in the local setting, all of the policies growth policy, infrastructure, mobility policy, they all come and boil in one place so the original, local place, it is the place where things are happening. The question, it is the little repair shops, it could be local, smaller shops to keep circulating within a territorial place and for you to know, we’re calling for proposal. There is a European green deal call for proposal and this topic of local circular economy, it will be funded by 65 million euro for projects that show that this can be done. Exactly the question.

I just will take that question.

Overall, I would go a little bit further. I think that the refurbishment is not only a small business, but what I’m personally working on this product passport, I think we can create a platform for the product passport to announce itself, so that it can actually advertise itself, I’m here, I’m of value without information normally thrown away, but here is information about me. This is the material and the components that you can reuse or you can have this refurbishment, it put me back in practice.

So automate on some kind of a platform where the product itself can say, look, I’m here, in this location, this is the value – again, material, all of that stuff, so we can create more automated way of recycle rather than going, trying to push on local players something that they may not be able to handle from technology. We’re talking about trillions of products, local settings cannot be specialized in everything.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you for answering that question.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: There was a question also to Lea, you want to say something on that?

>> LEA ELSEMULLER: I can add some things. I’m a local one, I can’t talk a lot about regulatories, they have to come from higher level. What they can do locally it is to raise awareness of the topics and to raise them where they are developed.

Raise awareness with developers, researchers, bring them to a table of different subjects, it is very, very important to work interdisciplinary here. Computer scientists, they know their subject, they can’t calculate the impact of the technology. It is not like their job to do that. We have to bring people to the table who are good in those things. They have to develop together. I think that’s one of the key parts we have to do when it comes to sustainable clean energy, to bring people together.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Fantastic. Quickly, before moving on, does anybody have any responses to the earlier question as well?

>> I don’t think we should leave that question unanswered. It is very important that we focus on efficiency gains and it is important that we focus on circular economy and that we improve the way we’re doing there.

On the other hand, we have to rethink our consumption behavior. Think of the rebound effects. It will lurk around and threaten the progresses we make on one side and it will – the effect, it tends to be negative. We have to touch the economy that’s focused on internal growth. It is not easy.

Think of efficiency and circular economy as something that’s in line with our economic system right now. Sufficiency, like reduction of consumption, it is something that is not in line with our current system and it is not just the economy, but the government apparatus, this kind of focus, it is focused on growth and needs that growth. We have to rethink the way we organize our society to actually tackle these issues for good.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thanks for your answers. I have a hand, and we’ll give them the floor.

>> Can you hear me?

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Definitely. Hey.

>> Beautiful. I went to a different conference last year, it was on Arctic issues, one of the tech companies there said it would be a good idea to put all the data centers, which while not maybe consuming most energy, still consumes a lot of energy, to put them all in the north of Sweden and Finland where there’s abundant green energy because of the – yeah, because of the hydro centers there, and because of the low temperature. The experts here on data centers, do you think this is a feasible idea? Thank you in advance.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Good question. Thank you.

I see Emma first.

>> EMMA FRYER: Yes, actually there is scope for that. There is datasets to different things, they don’t all do the same thing. There is scope for moving capacity up to the Nordics, and that’s actually happening, and there is a rapid growth in data and development up in Sweden, Norway, fenland, Denmark, Iceland. That’s happening. There are, as I said, a certain business model that suits better and those are being followed. I think that there is also some compelling economic factors why that works as well because power cost alone, as well as reduced cooling cost, it is interesting to see areas like northern Sweden that has completely reinvented itself as a sort of post‑industrial area where they were scratching heads as to how to reinvigorate the industrial capacity there, and they have got some very large new data center campuses up there that don’t really do work within an associated University and it is a fantastic benchmark for what can be done up there.

Yes and no.

Just because not all data types suit that model for a number of reasons.

Also, there is the other thing, it is just – the cultural thing, they are where they are. If you came down from Mars, looked around, thought this is where we should locate whatever it is, not necessarily data centers, those data centers, they’re in place because of the data centers, they’re there, and that is sort of a business ecosystem that’s there and they have grown around that.

It is not – it is a slight – I’m interested in what Chris has to say. That’s my take on it.

>> CHRIS ADAMS: Two things: No, you can’t move all of the data centers where it is cold, it won’t solve that. What we’ll end up having, what makes more sense to do, look at how we have seen the carbonized grid, the energy grid, we haven’t done that by centralizing but by having a responsive decentralized grid, it will always be windy and sunny somewhere in the world not everyone wants to put all of their data in one place. That’s one of the key reasons to bear in mind. And it sticks to this idea, yes, while we have seen a massive increase in compute and a modest increase in power usage, that’s largely happened because we have had massive consolidation and we have ended up with a much less diverse ecosystem in terms of providers now. This means that we now have a small number of very, very powerful providers where you have basically four providers providing most of the cloud services now. This is not a particularly healthy ecosystem but make it possible to have any kind of power that’s exerted outside of these large companies that can here lots and lots of lobbyists to make laws in their favor.

>> Can I add a few words on why this is not a solution, the keywords, resilience, you can’t put all of the data centers in one place, something could happen with that place, resilience means that we have to disperse. Second, whatever you gain in cooling, you will lose in transporting the data back to southern Europe because that’s where you are serving the people because sending bits around is more energy intensive than processing the bits. Third, it is basically called digital sovereignty. There are countries that will never give the data of the pay patients and passports to another country.

>> OLIVIER VERGENST: One point on that, a different perspective: Running data centers is possible with higher temperatures than in the past. We used to have to cool down data centers below 20, 18º in or so, we can run without a problem with 27º in and use free cooling now. We have more efficient data centers to the South, and we’ll continue to evolve as well.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you for that.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: As you see, we have to move to another question as well. There are many, many coming up. I would like to turn to can you see.

>> AUKE PALS: Thank you. We’re having loads of questions. I really see a lot of interaction in respect to time, keep your answers shorter maybe, so we can address more questions..

I’ll shut my mouth in a minute.

Michael Gomez has a good question. It seems that 5G is expected to cost three times more than 4G and energy consumption and also increase primarily energy uses to manufacture all 5G network components. It will be more complex than 4G, how is this situation addressed it had?

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Any takers?

>> 5G as a technology, it is the most energy efficient technology. For the same through put, let’s say megabyte, you get the transfer, it is more focused, more energy efficient. What is expected is that because we’ll have more space stations, more material, space station, think of a big fridge and buildings, it is more visible because it is a more dense network, there is more materials in it. We’re working on water cooling, there is a green solution to that, as technology, it is more efficient, it is more energy efficient., the services we want to do, we’ll do more in the rebound affect and we’ll do more and more things online that will increase. The energy efficiency of the ICT sector, we follow that really closely. What we would like, actually, it is that the electricity that we have between 5 and 7%, we have to increase what we can do with that energy. That’s the thing that ICT technology has.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Emma, you comment and then Olivier with the last comment.

>> EMMA FRYER: My understanding is that 5G is massively more efficient. I was in line with the former speaker.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Yes.

>> OLIVIER VERGENST: Same here. Yeah.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Great. Listen, everyone. There is so many good questions, we’re coming – we’re running out of time. We want to go back to the speakers, just to give them a bit of last word before we move to the session, to – what is it called? The session messages? The fact is, we have been able to do this, this is meant to be very much a snapshot of the way forward. Obviously the IGF is presenting the – it has an entire theme on the environment. We want to make this kind of discussion something that is a staple of internet governance discussions going forward. You know, even if it seems like we don’t have too much time to answer all of your questions, we will be doing more of this in the future. Perhaps we can even be doing something like a follow‑up seminar in the future.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Actually, I agree with you. I wanted to mention some great questions that were put up, especially because of the focus on the material aspect because it spoke about the energy and infrastructure, the resolve questions about people who were wondering whether extending lifetime proposal will work given that people get bored after two years, so the psychological of that and how to deal with that and this is an innovative bubble and we have had a question about the updates that we have to let you use and that slow down devices and also the device, software, so those are really important questions, and I will wait for maybe some of you to really go quickly through them because they’re really important. Yeah. They really go – the second one, it was – yeah. Thank you very much for asking those questions. They’re really important if you want to have a move forward. Maybe – did any of you have really some quick input on this? We can move to the conclusion?

>> OLIVIER VERGENST: It was – I would say reconditioned material, it is more of a question of a habit, more and more people are doing it, it is a question of not needing to have the latest device. Some people, they still want the latest device and they can be used afterward, it is not about giving a second life. That will make a difference, really.

>> What I want to say, we have ran a study on how long would you be willing to keep your phone if the functionality and your apps can be updated. People, majority, more than 70 people are five years or more. So saying, you know, people are just bored of it, it is not true, that’s at least what the study assessed, what we’re doing as a commission, we’re going against the built‑in, so we’re forced to change phone because WhatsApp app on my phone is not any more updated by Facebook. That’s unacceptable in a way. Why do I have to throw a device, I love that device, I have the pictures, I’m attached to it, I want to keep it, I can’t because a company decided not to update the app that I’m using on a daily basis.

This is something that we’re working on as a legislative fact. The right to repair. To make sure that screen, batteries, whatever, can be refurbished, repaired if I want to.

Public wants that.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. Let’s take a joint decision here. We had a closing message from David as well. We also wanted to give everyone kind of a last word. We’re very conscience of time. We also recognize that we need to do the messages.

>> AUKE PALS: Before doing that, I have collected all the questions, they’re at the EuroDIG forum, keep discussing there, I encourage you all to go thereafter the session.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Thank you so much.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: What do you think is best?

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: I will turn to our moderator for this, I saw again that we began the session a little bit later, I feel we’re on time to get everybody, just a pinch of a minute to make a closing statement. Is that okay with everyone?

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Yeah. Please.

Anyone going first, to have a quick closing statement?

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: I’m working closely with the German presidency coming up, with the Minister of environment, they launched a barometer in Germany, people were asked what do you think about digitalization? Does it have positive, negative effect on the environment, and this is revealing in a way because as Internet Governance Forum, we have to understand what people think and what is very clear, it is clear that 37% say positive, 31% say neutral, 32% said negative. It is a third, a third, a third, people do not know, it is completely giving, so that’s the thermometer that says people are confused. It is up to us and Internet Governance Forum to give a clear message to the public. Public, what is the role of ICT? Of course, the statistics kind of shows it is not so clear. Some clear ideas have to come out. One clear idea, it is that we can really make change in our business models. An example, in agriculture, the business is made by selling as much pesticides, as much fertilizers, what we can do through technology by putting sensors, putting drones, satellite images to kind of put more digitalization in precision agriculture, we can change the business model so that the companies that sell pesticides, fertilizers, they can sell crop health protection and they will then use, because then it becomes pesticides, fertilizer is a cost to them, they’ll use it minimally, only if needed, where needed. That will change the whole model. Everybody is happy. Stabling the companies, not to worry for the farmers, healthcare for us. Think of any sector of the economy such model can happen due to information and IT.

On the other hand though, I just want to end up with that, I learned yesterday from a report that companies that declare themselves as climate neutral has a contract with oil companies and they enable the oil companies to dig out oil that would not be accessible otherwise because AI, Cloud, manipulation, visualization, AI can enable drilling more oil. Let’s make sure that we compare and we do not go to the internet companies because they’re doing good things in IT, energy, manufacturing and they also enable another brown economy. Let’s put all of that on the table. Internet Governance Forum is the place to do it.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: Amazing statement.

We’ll move towards Ileas next.

>> ILIAS IAKOVIDIS: That’s difficult to follow. In short, there is tons of work with IT, the technology, we should be careful on what we use resources for. We can save lives, we can really increase agriculture. It is really about focusing on using the right stuff and stopping to use continuously for just the fact of the latest device. I will not go through all of the possible public authorities, actions that can come. There are so many of them.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Chris, you’re unmuted. Would you like to go?

>> CHRIS ADAMS: It is a mistake to talk about energy when in a climate crisis and the science is talking about carbon, green, I don’t know how to stress it enough, we talk about energy and we can decouple this or should be doing that faster than anything else. Even in the discussions about hardware, it is because we’re not pricing the cost of the emitting carbon oh things, we’re pushing the costs on to the world, the people least able to do something about this. That’s why I do talk about regulation, cry it is necessary, why we have talked about green energy. It you want to have anything like a decent, continuing the lifestyles need to find a way to decouple what you’re doing as much as possible, we have to learn about carbon, have carbon literacy for this. Thank you.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. Emma, Beat.

>> EMMA FRYER: I’m happy to. My last thought, consumer, young people care, why do we use the internet in this way, and I think that’s because the current business models do not give consumers any signal of the carbon impact of their online activity.

You know, you store a lot of stuff, send videos, the rest of it, no sense of what the carbon costs because of the premium business models. I think one of the answers, it is much better information to consumers about the impact of those activities. That’s my concluding thought.

>> LEA ELSEMULLER: The same thought, Emma, that’s – we have to check our own behavior, yeah. Business model, behind it.

I try to go to the local level. I think when you want climate change, the most concrete place to do that, that’s the local environment.

So we need transparent discussions on the footprint of technology, not only on European level but also local and the local research in your community.

Thinking about town halls, they’re really nice, but also Working Groups with researchers, with Civil Society, energy providers, local administration, there is a lot you can do there. You can check when you have the server, what kind of energy is used, clean energy, it is a lot of things you can decide locally.

It is essential to understand what needs to be changed here to meet the 1.5. Following the example with the companies, transparency, it is important here, we really have to check, is it really green, what we’re selling right now. That’s a question everybody has to ask themselves, the companies, they need regularities, but when you’re a developer at University, you have to check what you’re developing. I think that’s really important and you need to get educated to check that. I think that’s very important.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. Great points.

Beat?

>> BEAT ESTERMANN: Let me chime from the local statement to the international one.

From one point that came out from our studies, it is really that people feel that be involvement of Civil Society, environmental policy issues, it is okay at the local level. It is kind of medium at the national level and it is clearly insufficient at the international level. What we’re currently doing, we’re carrying out the participatory approach at the national level, we’re generating ideas with participants, how to tackle the pressing issues in this area and obviously we’re looking – we’re on the lookout for possibilities to kind of take this dialogue at the international level. I think that’s also where we should put some thought, how do we coordinate better at the international level while involving the Civil Society.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Amazing. Thank you so much for that, Beat. For the wonderful, strong interjection at the end, the intervention I mean. I know we’re a bit over, everybody that’s listening. Thank you for your patience and time we need to go to the session messages.

Thank you all for your patience. The floor is yours.

>> I was a part of EuroDIG Youth last year.

Let’s go to the first slide, please.

An indicator that measures the environmental impact of digital technologies is necessary to enable taking the right decisions at the regulatory and political levels. If you have strong objections to this message, please raise them in the chat and the message will be discarded.

No objections.

Second message.

To reduce the digital impact, we should buy less devices, use them longer and give them a second life when we don’t use them anymore.

Any objections, please raise them in the chat? I see a thumbs up from Kris.

>> Can I add something? I think what we need, fundamentally, change the business model instead of selling devices, to sell services. So people will – if you tell them don’t buy, it will not work.

You have to give them something instead. What you give them instead, it is focused on the services that the device gets so the companies, they’ll give devices and they’ll charge for services and then they’re all interested. It would be naive to tell people don’t buy. I would kind of enrich this sentencing leading to change from quantity base, to device base, profit making, to service based profit making, where the devices don’t matter anymore.

>> Does everybody agree with this suggested change?

I see agreements from Veronica. Mark, I’m unfortunately not a native English speaker and editor from the Geneva internet platform, they’ll go through the messages again and make sure that my grammar is correct.

Okay. We’ll change the message to the formulation that Ilias Iakovidisic suggested. I’ll take it from the transcript of the session.

>> It is adding also – the messages, they’re – it is replacing what was being said in the session and that position. Thank you so much.

>> I want to make sure that the infrastructure we use is running on green power, we should leverage policy and in particular the policy on spending public money to speed along the use of a green internet.

>> I want to make a disclaimer, focusing on green energy, it will not solve the problem. Suppose that we have 100% renewables, it will still not make us sustainable as technology or as the world. Energy is not everything. There is the material aspect as well, using the material, take out plastics, whatever you want, it is not about green energy only. This saying is true for internet and that’s what the point was by Olivier Vergeynst, the energy, it is the smaller part of the problem of the sustainability of ICT. The point is good, but it should not be the only one. I hope we have also the material point on that one.

We should not take the green energy from other sectors. If there is only so much green energy and if we have the money because we’re the richest companies as ICT and we have the renewables, that means we’re taking it from somebody else.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: That’s a great point. to be mindful on time, every speaker gets actually the same amount of time to speak, could we find a procedure here to –

>> Just a second, please. I need to explain the procedure.

I didn’t. My apologies, I’m looking for rough consensus, if you disagree with the message, you disagree. If you agree, you agree. Now the messages, they’ll be available on the commenting platform and you will be able to input any additional input you may have.

What I’m looking for here, it is are we keeping this or completely discarding it? Can this be fixed later on? Is it completely unusable.

We can keep it?

>> Just for now.

Next slide, please.

>> Area where is international coordination is needed the most are measures to promote the circular economy, share the data, incentives to reduce environmentally harmful consumption, promoting the use of efficiency and enhancing digital applications, transparency regarding environment the costs and materials and improvement of data protection through technical measures.

No strong no? Then let’s go to the last message. This is formulated by the poll as there were three options that were the most popular. Let’s say between – in this session, I put all three of them in this message. Regulations that increase circular production and assumption, ensuring companies’ accountability, increasing the reuse of devices as well as increasing device longevity are the most important policy areas that need to be addressed in order for Europe to have a sustainable digital future.

>> Among others.

>> Among others, yes.

>> That’s good! That complements my comment with the green energy. That’s good. They should both go together. Yeah.

>> It was my pleasure to be the reporter of this session. I learned a lot from you. I give the floor back to the moderators.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you so much for that. Well, I cannot thank all of you enough for your time. Obviously, if anybody is interested in learning more about this, we have the wiki on our session wiki with a lot of good links and also links to other resources and whatnot so that we have plenty of good reading to do from there, if you want to learn about how to get more involved as well feel free to email myself, connect with us somehow, this is a topic that’s veneer and dear to our hearts. I want to thank – we want to thank the speakers, Alex, come on at any time if you want, thank you to the speaker, you’re fantastic, great communication, great points, thank you so much for your time and your patience and for your energy. We want to thank the audience, you have been fantastic. I did not anticipate all of the incredible questions, we clearly have so much more that we need to talk about. Our focal point has been just phenomenal, she’s been wonderful, we could not have done this without her. Our subject matter expert Chris has been really so supportive, thank you to the whole team, so supportive, easy to work with, fantastic. I know that probably Sandra is about to kill me, we have gone over so much time. Thank you so much to Sandra, others at the Secretariat, Nadia, obviously the studio teams, you have been fantastic, other individuals helping with the support of this, obviously can’t finish without this, many thanks to our transcriber who is often unnamed, usually I would ask them what their name is, but we can’t – I can’t see it. Thank you so much.

Let’s keep this conversation going at the IGF and beyond. We have a lot of work to do.

>> ALEXANDRA LUTZ: That would be great.

Thank you, everyone.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you, Alex! I almost forgot!

>> NADIA TJAHJA: Thank you for the excellent session. Especially our moderators, Michael Oghia and Alexandra Lutz, Michael, to answer your question, the captioner’s name, Kelly, and so on behalf I guess from Michael, thank you very much to Kelly..

Now we’re coming to the end of the session. There is a small notice.

>> AUKE PALS: I would also like to thank the moderators, speaker participants, everyone that is unnamed. The chat was extremely active and I hope you continue this at the EuroDIG forum and Nadia, back to you.

>> NADIA TJAHJA: Thank you very much.

So we have come to the end of today, the end of EuroDIG. Now I would like to go back to the EuroDIG headquarters where the secretary general of EuroDIG will lead the wrap up session.