Quantifying the enabling impact of digital technologies on the climate – COP28

2 December 2023 | 17:00 – 18:00 (Dubai time)​|UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub Pavilion | COP28

This side event was held at the UN Global Innovation Hub Pavilion. It was an opportunity for the European Green Digital Coalition (EGDC) to present the impact of its methodologies. The event underscored the EGDC’s role as a catalyst for quantifying and promoting the positive effects of digitalization on climate change.

During the introductory keynote speech, Daniele Violetti from the UN emphasized the significance of “Green ICT” in decarbonizing the information and communication technology sector. He also stressed the importance of “ICT for green” to align solutions with sustainable development goals. In his call to action, Violetti outlined the need for scaling up existing technologies, developing new solutions in line with the Paris Agreement, and fostering global collaboration.

Ilias Iakovidis, representing the European Commission, introduced the European Green Digital Coalition and highlighted its pivotal role in quantifying the positive impact of digitalization on climate change. Google’s Adam Elman further expanded on the potential for substantial decarbonization using artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. Elman presented practical applications, including AI-based tools providing cities with insights on emissions, traffic optimization, and flood prediction.

Telefonica’s Maya Ormazabal emphasized the necessity of a green digital sector and discussed the EGDC’s role in developing methodologies for measuring the impact of digital solutions. Cisco’s Pastora Valero then underscored the importance of verifiable data in greening various sectors. Chris White of NEC Laboratories highlighted the role of dynamic resource tools in facilitating efficient decision-making across industries with diverse needs.

Moderated by Alessandro Gropelli, Deputy Director General of ETNO – European Telecoms Association, the session concluded on an optimistic note. Speakers expressed confidence in existing solutions and called for more deployment. This resonated with the theme of DG CONNECT’s events, continuing to underline the urgency of transitioning from methodology to actionable solutions. The speakers highlighted the pivotal role of businesses, technological innovation, and international collaboration in shaping a sustainable future.


17:00 Session starts and welcome by the moderator

Alessandro Gropelli, Deputy Director General, ETNO – European Telecoms Association

17:03 Keynote speech

Daniele Violetti, Senior Director of the Programmes Coordination and Director a.i. of the Means of Implementation Division, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 

17:10 Introduction to the European Green Digital Coalition

Ilias Iakovidis, PhD, Adviser for Digital Aspects of Green Transformation, DG CONNECT, European Commission

17:20 Panel: Quantifying the enabling impact of digital technologies on the climate – Methodologies & Impact of the European Green Digital Coalition (EGDC)

Adam Elman, Head of Sustainability EMEA, Google

Maya Ormazabal, Director of Environment and Human Rights, Telefonica Group

Pastora Valero, Senior Vice President for International Government Affairs, CISCO

Chris White, PhD, President of NEC Laboratories America


17:55 Conclusions by the moderator