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Index Would Score Nations' Abilities to Use IT to Reduce Emissions

The Framingham, Mass.-based market research/consulting firm IDC announced this week that it plans to create an index that scores a country's ability to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to effectively reduce its CO<sub>2</sub> emission

According to IDC, results of the first IDC ICT Sustainability Index will be released prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is scheduled for Dec. 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The ICT Sustainability Index uses a variety of inputs to determine a country's ability to use ICT to reduce its CO2 emissions. In addition to population and GDP data, the Index correlates a country's current energy profile with its ICT investment and spending patterns to help make climate change targets attainable, according to IDC.

By using additional ICT-related input factors to this base line, the index score also effectively measures a country's readiness to leverage ICT to lower its carbon emissions, according to IDC.

The index scores will allow IDC to rank nations fairly and transparently as they tackle the long-term challenge of environmental and economic sustainability, IDC said. The index will be accompanied by a study offering qualitative recommendations to policy makers on where ICT investments can contribute to achieving climate-change goals.

"There have been many attempts to set goals and targets for nations to reduce their CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions," said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research. "The United Nations has led the way by highlighting the need to reduce emissions within specific time periods. However, IDC believes that countries need help to better understand where they should invest in ICT in order to meet any internal or international targets. The ICT Sustainability Index will help countries to prioritize ICT investments in major sectors, such as manufacturing, transport and housing, as part of their overall climate change strategy."

According to IDC, the study will bring forward leading technology strategies within each of the major sectors.

IDC noted that it already has tested the ICT Sustainability Index methodology using the G20 group of nations as a sample.

"The G20 is a good place to start since its combined GDP, energy profile and ICT spending power account for almost 75% of the world's wealth and energy creation and consumption," said Roberta Bigliani, EMEA research manager, IDC Energy Insights.

The ICT Sustainability Index is part of IDC's green initiative, which aims to help decision makers understand the role of technology in addressing the challenges and opportunities amidst today's energy, environment and sustainability requirements, according to the firm.

IDC provides market intelligence, advisory services and events for the IT, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.

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