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Report: Japan best at using IT to support green national agenda

OK, so the first question I had when reading the new Low-Carbon ICT Leadership Benchmark from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) was this: "Uh, where is the United States?"The benchmark focuses on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) by federal governments as part of their efforts to support agendas related to climate change.

OK, so the first question I had when reading the new Low-Carbon ICT Leadership Benchmark from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) was this: "Uh, where is the United States?"

The benchmark focuses on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) by federal governments as part of their efforts to support agendas related to climate change. It includes efforts such as the teleworking movement being supported in Japan or the efforts by Denmark to promote exports of low-carbon ICT. The research in this benchmark is especially concerned with how ICT is being used to help nations meet their Kyoto Protocol commitments.

So, based on that backdrop, here's the Top 10:

  1. Japan
  2. Denmark
  3. Germany
  4. Ireland
  5. European Union
  6. Netherlands
  7. Australia
  8. Finland
  9. Romania
  10. India

The benchmark score of Japan versus India is almost double. That just goes to show how nascent efforts of this type are today.

GeSI Chairman Luis Neves notes in the press materials about the report:

"The ICT industry must continue to work with governments to ensure that adequate policy frameworks are in place to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy. By highlighting low-carbon ICT leadership among governments, GeSI seeks to encourage a race to the top in the run up to COP 17, so that ICT is included in strategies as a key enabler in tackling climate change and creating sustainable business models and growth opportunities."

COP17 is the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is to be held about six months from now.

So, back to my original, somewhat rhetorical question. I think the reason that the United States isn't on this list is that because it has no explicit plans like the one GeSI is evaluating. As a country, we may be more conscientious about the potential to use technology as a means to a green end. But we kind of let that happen organically, which is not the case for other nations. One other country that is glaringly missing: China. Think about that.