Critical Times: Impact of Digitalisation on Climate Change

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

Christine Or

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)

DotAsia Organisation


Project Manager



Economy of Residence

Hong Kong

Primary Stakeholder Group

Technical Community


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Critical Times: Impact of Digitalisation on Climate Change



Session Format


Where do you plan to organize your session?

Virtual / online

Specific Issues for Discussion

Although there was a significant decline in carbon emissions in 2020, it was obviously a result from population confinement and economy slowdown. Experts forecast that carbon emissions will rapidly bounce back to its original level, because digital activity has been accelerated by the pandemic, for example through online learning, home office, online shopping, etc. DotAsia has been working with Heinrich Böll Stiftung Hong Kong on a new project this year to collect data and analyse the possible impact of data exchange on carbon emissions. In this session, we plan to present the research findings as evidence to indicate the impact of digital activities on carbon emissions, leading to the discussion on how digitalisation has contributed to global warming. We will discuss how energy consumption in data centres and Internet infrastructures is escalated by the explosion of digital technology. On the other hand, highlight the potentials of the Internet and ICT to monitor climate change and reduce carbon footprint, making the target of net-zero emissions achievable. Lastly, we would like to hear opinions and recommendations of possible implementations through policy and regulations to ensure a green economy.

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

Sustainability is one of the thematic tracks of APrIGF this year and has been an essential topic in a global aspect. We are at a critical time for digital communities to reflect on and monitor the expansion of the Internet, connecting with carbon footprint initiatives to develop concepts, tools and Internet governance policies, in order to tackle climate change and recovery plans. It is crucial to urge governments and the industry to prioritize the imperatives of climate change and environmental sustainability in future planning, especially when developing recovery plan for post-COVID. Through the dialogue at APrIGF, we aim to develop outcomes with effective measures by multiple sectors on curbing digital carbon footprint.

Methodology / Agenda

8-10 min – Introduction and data presentation of our environmental project by researcher / Internet exchange specialist 27-30 min – Discussion by panelists - The damage of environment by digitalisation and the urgency to reduce carbon footprint - Deep dive into the connection between digitalisation and the environment, and how we can make good use of digital tools to study and reduce impacts. - Policy advice on monitoring or even reducing digital impacts on environment - Wrap up 20-25 min – Q&A (half for on-site or local hub participants, half for online participants)

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.

#ClimateChange #CarbonFootprint #Digitalisation


Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Designation Organization Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Lucia Siu Programme Manager (Technology) Heinrich Boell Stiftung Hong Kong Hong Kong Civil Society Female Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) Jennifer Chung Director of Corporate Knowledge DotAsia Organisation Hong Kong Technical Community Female Confirmed
Speaker 1 Anna Moore Sustainability Consulting and Partnerships Manager Eco-Business Singapore Press \/ Media Female Confirmed
Speaker 2 Kathryn Sforcina Global Head of Strategy IV.AI Australia Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 3 Sang Min Shim Independent Researcher (Former Assistant Professor) Korean National Diplomatic Academy Korea Academia Male Confirmed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

This is a multi-disciplinary dialogue on climate change and environment sustainability, to initiate collaborative efforts from multiple stakeholder groups. APNIC has been working on environmental projects and also initiated a dialogue to discuss the exponential growth of the Internet and its impact on the environment. Their studies and research can set the scene for our session. Singapore is the most sought-after market for data centre operators in the Southeast Asian region. Globally, it is also one of the top-ranked data centre locations. Eco-Business, which is based in Singapore, has conducted a lot of research recently on data centres and climate change as well as the challenges and opportunities offered by technology and the internet. They will be providing insightful perspectives on this topic. Sang Min Shim, a former professor at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy (, an institution that provides education programs for new recruits of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He received his JSD degree in international environmental law from Stanford Law School. He is one of the prominent figures in the field of climate change policy making and can bring some ideas to the panel from the perspective of Korean government. SPREP has been conducting researches and studies on ICT and climate change for years and it will be valuable to learn from them and know their perspectives from the Pacific.