IGF 2023 WS #49 Cooperation for a Green Digital Future

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (08:15 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (09:15 UTC)
WS 2 – Room A

Sustainability & Environment
Existing and New Technologies as Climate Risks
Existing and New Technologies as Climate Solutions

Organizer 1: Romaniec Hubert, EC
Organizer 2: Mans Romy, European Commission
Organizer 3: Esteve Esteve Sanz, 🔒European Commission
Organizer 4: Yoichi Iida, 🔒

Speaker 1: Pearse ODonohue, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Nadia Owusu, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Yoichi Iida, Government, Asia-Pacific Group


Yoichi Iida, Government, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Romaniec Hubert, Government, Intergovernmental Organization


Romaniec Hubert, Government, Intergovernmental Organization


Debate - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. How can policymakers/stakeholders collaborate to develop and implement policies, incentives, and standards that promote the responsible and sustainable use of digital_technologies, while maximizing their potential to combat climate_change and protect the environment in line with the DFI_principles? 2. What strategies and frameworks can be established to ensure that deployment of digital_technologies (AI, supercomputing, data pooling) consistently prioritize environmental considerations and contribute to the global effort to achieve climate neutrality? 3. How can multi-stakeholder community foster open, transparent and inclusive dialogue between various stakeholders to identify, share, and scale_up best practices and innovative solutions for leveraging digital_technologies in addressing environmental_challenges?

What will participants gain from attending this session? The multistakeholder community will discuss how digital technologies, such as AI, supercomputing, and data pooling, can help mitigate climate change and support the green transition. Additionally, participants will gain insights into cutting-edge projects like the "Destination Earth" initiative, which aims to create a high-precision digital twin of the Earth for improved decision-making and policy development. The workshop will provide a platform for participants to discuss and brainstorm ways to minimize the environmental impact of the Internet and digital technologies. Participants will have the chance to connect with individuals, organizations, and industry experts who share a common interest in leveraging digital technologies for environmental protection and climate action. Additionally, participant will receive a certain skillset for enhancing decision-making and policymaking, e.g. the latest tools, strategies, and methods for integrating digital technologies into policy-making processes to better address climate change and environmental challenges.


The proposed workshop aims at engaging the multi-stakeholder community in the development of concrete implementation ideas of one of the commitments of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI), currently subscribed by more than 70 countries around the world. It's a continuation of the multi-stakeholder dialogue on the DFI at IGF 2022 in Addis-Ababa. Digital technologies are crucial for both supporting the green transition towards climate neutrality and reducing the carbon footprint of the ICT sector. Today the ICT sector accounts for 5-9 % of electricity use and more then 2% of global greenhouse gas emission (as much as all air traffic). If unchecked, the ICT footprint could increase to 14% of global emissions by 2040, but at the same time digital technologies could help to reduce emissions by 7 times more than the amount created by the ICT sector (and reduce global emissions by up to 15 %). AI, supercomputing and pooled data will allow better analysis and decision-making on climate crisis and the environment. This will lead to better policy making. For example, the “Destination Earth” initiative will develop a high precision digital model (a ‘digital twin’) of the Earth that will radically improve Europe’s ability to predict extreme weather patterns, gauge the impact of climate change and manage natural and environmental disasters. We have to make sure make sure we fully exploit the potential of digital technologies to better deal with climate change and protect the environment. Participants will reflect on how DFI signatories and stakeholders can strengthen the trust in the digital ecosystem through the global cooperation to maximise the enabling effects of technology for combatting climate change and protecting the environment whilst reducing as much as possible the environmental footprint of the Internet and digital technologies.

Expected Outcomes

Establishing an inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue on the environmental impact of the Internet and digital technologies with a special focus on how policies and regulations can promote global cooperation to maximise the enabling effects of technology for combatting climate change. Providing policy recommendations to help implement the DFI principle of Trust in the Digital Ecosystem into concrete actions and policies. Strengthen the coalition of partner countries that support the DFI and its principles and ensure multistakeholder input into the DFI processes. Comprehensive report containing main message of the workshop.

Hybrid Format: A moderator will be nominated, present at the venue and supported by an online facilitator who will encourage online participants to interact (via polls, review of questions submitted online). Lively interaction between online and onsite participants will be ensured by the moderator and the facilitator during the panel discussion and the Q&A session. Online participation will be planned ahead in the agenda and will be promoted and encouraged through Delegations around the world. Participants will also be allowed to submit questions in advance. The European Commission will further reach out to all its networks and Delegations around the world to promote the session and ensure high-level participation. We have access to and can implement complementary communication tools as appropriate.