IGF 2023 WS #377 Enhance Digital Governance for Less CO2 future: AP' Practice


Sustainability & Environment
Digital Technologies to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
Existing and New Technologies as Climate Solutions

Organizer 1: XIAO YANG, China Internet Development Foundation
Organizer 2: Xiaobo YANG, Fuxi Institution
Organizer 3: Jingzhe REN, All-China Environment Federation
Organizer 4: Li ZHANG, All-China Environment Federation

Speaker 1: XIAODONG LI, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Shaozhong DU, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Yijie Peng, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


XIAODONG LI, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Li ZHANG, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Xiaobo YANG, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Panel - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1) What aspects should be focused on for the regulatory authority when making policies or measures in response to the potential risks of digital technology and devices to environmental sustainability?

2) How to scientifically evaluate the impact of AI, big data, cloud computing and so on to the realization of carbon reduction goals and how should they be reflected in relevant policies?

3) What roles should multi-stakeholders such as government departments, technical communities, social organizations, private sectors, and research institutions play in promoting digital technology to achieve the goal of green and sustainable development?

What will participants gain from attending this session? First, a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between digital technology and environmental sustainability. Digital technology can provide not only effective tools for addressing global climate change but also some negative effects.

Second, the experience of the Asia-Pacific region in strengthening digital technology governance to reduce CO2 emissions. The Asia-Pacific region is a very active area in using of the digital technology, which can provide experience for countries with such needs.

Third, a full recognition of the focus of governance work to reduce the negative impact of digital technology. Whether it is AI, big data, while understanding which aspects to focus on when using these technologies to serve development, the focus should be on minimizing their burden on environment.

Fourth, clear understanding of the responsibilities of stakeholders in this process. Participants will be able to understand their role in digital technology carbon reduction as a guiding principle for SDGs.


Global climate change and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are major challenges for humanity in the 21st century. The UN had sounded the alarm, calling for global attention on its potential consequences. IEA's report released in March showed that although the growth rate of CO2 emissions in 2022 was lower than expected, a growing trend is still showed, and effective solutions need to be found ASAP. The digital transformation of the economy and society around the world is accelerating, bringing opportunities for reducing CO2 emissions. For example, AI, big data, and other digital technologies can improve industry energy efficiency, reduce costs, support decision-making. However, the use of digital technology and equipment also brings risks to environmental sustainability, including the energy consumption of digital technology itself as well as e-waste by excessive production of devices.

The world's dependence on digital technology for development is increasing. Therefore, how to maximize technology’s positive role in addressing environmental issues while minimizing their negative impact is an urgent issue. IGF PNE’s final report also believed that if used properly, digitalization will become one of the solutions to global environmental problems. The key is how to strengthen governance of the development and use of digital technology, tools, and equipment.

The workshop is fully titled as "Enhancing Digital Governance for the Realization of SDGs: A Discussion Based on the Practice of Digital Carbon Neutrality in Asia Pacific". We’ll invite representatives from multi-stakeholders in Asia-Pacific region to exchange experiences and consensus on how to strengthen digital governance to achieve SDGs. Topics to be discussed include policies and practices in using digital technology reducing CO2 emissions; problems brought and how to conduct digital governance especially on issues brought by AI; basic consensus on digital governance in achieving digital carbon neutrality; how can multi-stakeholders make a difference.

Expected Outcomes

The outcomes and outputs of this workshop include:

1) Consolidating the consensus of participating experts on how to strengthen digital governance to achieve sustainable development, as successful experience that can be referenced by the international community to minimize the negative impact of digital technology applications on the environment.

2) To provide typical cases of using digital technology and strengthening digital governance to achieve green sustainable development for the international community. Before the workshop, the organizers plan to collect relevant practical cases from multi-stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region as public products of the conference.

3) The organizers will establish an international policy research network for digital carbon neutrality based on this workshop to strengthen regular communication mechanisms across regions.

Hybrid Format: Some organizers and speakers will attend the meeting onsite. Speakers who are unable to go to Japan, will participate in through the official tool provided by the IGF. The organizers will provide necessary support for remote speakers with tool accounts and network resources. The onsite and online moderator will maintain real-time communication to ensure online and offline interactions.

The workshop process is as follows:
1) Introduction about backgrounds (5 min).
2) Speech by 5 speakers (40 min).
3) Discussion among speakers and participants (40 min). The moderators shall focus on equal opportunities for online and onsite participants, trying to ask for opinions in a concise manner, striving for more speaking opportunities.
4) Conclusion (5 min).

The organizers will use Tencent Meeting to conduct synchronous live streaming for the community in the organizers’ country and communities. A staff will be arranged to collect and respond to feedback and questions from audience.