Carbon targets to spur green IT: Birks

Outgoing CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Ian Birks said today that he believes Australia's lack of firm carbon emissions targets has hindered the take-up of green technology.

Outgoing CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Ian Birks said today that he believes Australia's lack of firm carbon emissions targets has hindered the take-up of green technology.

Ian Birks

AIIA CEO Ian Birks (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

"The absence of binding carbon targets in Australia is a blow to the adoption of green technology," Birks said at the Korea-Australia-New Zealand (KANZ) Broadband Summit this morning.

Birks said in his address that the ICT industry isn't putting enough emphasis on how technology can reduce carbon emissions in Australia, and encouraged delegates to be evangelists to business and government.

"We need to lift the debate about what our industry can do," Birks said.

The IT sector alone, Birks said, produces roughly 3 per cent of global carbon emissions. While it is important to reduce that number as much as possible, he believes that the industry must focus on helping other industries reduce the other 97 per cent.

Birks' comments echo those of CarbonSystems' CEO David Solsky, who believes that, until carbon is priced in Australia, the take-up of proper reporting software, for example, is set to flounder.

"In the absence of certainty, people just stop making decisions," Solsky said, adding that until priced, carbon emissions will be tracked in Excel spreadsheets.

In his address, Birks went over the key industries set to benefit from the adoption of green technology, detailed in his organisation's whitepaper published last year.

In the whitepaper, the AIIA identified that the energy production and distribution, transport and logistics, building management systems, industrial processes, health and education sectors would stand to benefit from green IT.

The AIIA is currently in the process of looking for a new head after Birks announced his plans to leave the industry association to start his own consulting firm.

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