Press Briefing during Bonn Climate Change Conference on digitalization and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Monday, 17 June 2019, 12.15-12.45 p.m.
Room Nairobi 4 – World Conference Center Bonn & the full press conference will be live streamed here: https://unfccc-sb50.streamworld.de/live
The increased use of digital technologies brings numerous opportunities, but also challenges, and societies and their governments are standing at a crossroads. If not managed carefully, digitalization could become an obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In recent decades, digital technologies have often accelerated economic processes that are still predominantly based on fossil fuel-based energy and resource extraction, and could drive the world further into a hyper-consumer society, thus jeopardizing the transformation towards sustainability. At the same time, advances in technology offer huge societal benefits and can make invaluable contributions towards climate protection, if explicitly directed towards a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all. This can be achieved, for example, by bringing digitalization, climate and sustainability researchers together, by integrating sustainability requirements into research and innovation processes, by integrating artificial intelligence into the governance system, or by using Big Data to design smart cities. Cities play a crucial role in the question of whether we will succeed or fail in the transformation of our societies towards sustainability. By 2050, another 2.5 billion people could live in urban areas, and it is not premature but urgent to start the planning process at this juncture. Urban spaces can serve as incubators of change, intertwining social and environmental concerns with economic processes and technological progress.
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