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Welcome to the IGF 2019 in Germany!

Wednesday, November 27 • 11:30 - 13:00
DC on Internet Rights and Principles: Internet Futures and the Climate Crisis

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Internet Futures and the Climate Crisis - Paths to Sustainability or Extinction?

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of World Wide Web, a fundamental moment in the history of the Internet, and an integral part of our daily lives in this era of the Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. It is estimated that over 4 billion people are now internet users and 3.9 billion are active mobile internet users, which represents more than half of the global population. However, Internet connectivity comes at a price: despite the potential to reduce the environmental impact, the internet and its dependent technologies are in fact contributing to the current climate crisis, and with the global number of users rapidly increasing, the ICTs may soon overtake the carbon footprint of the aviation industry.  

Can green Internet-dependent technologies offer smart solutions to tackle the climate crisis? 
Discussions around sustainability and the environmental impact of ICTs have been largely absent from Internet Governance agendas, despite the current global climate crisis and the ever-growing energy demands of a fast-increasing digital industry.
As the UN SDGs look to connect the next billion the relationship between recognition of emerging rights such as that of internet access and existing rights (e.g. the right to information, education) and the environmental burden internet-dependent technologies requires our attention. Internet access as a sustainable development goal implies research into, and development of equipment, architectures, and services that are also environmentally sustainable in light of undertakings around the current climate crisis and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
This session is a follow-up to meetings organised last year IGF in Paris and at this year’s EuroDIG in The Hague and part of our ongoing outreach work through the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet.

  • Chris Adams - ClimateAction.tech, Tech community
  • Christopher Olk - Extinction Rebellion, International Labour Organization, Civil Society,
  • Conor Rigby - Feminist Internet, "Designing an Ecological Alexa" (remote) -  Creative / tech community
  • Constanze Buerger - Federal Ministry of the Interior Germany, Government
  • Fridays for Future representatives (remote) - Civil Society / Youth Representation
  • Lea Rosa Holtfreter - Civil Society / Youth Representation

Breakout Session Facilitators / Rapporteurs
  • Chris Adams - ClimateAction.tech -  Tech community
  • June Parris, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC) and IGF Mag Member, Civil Society
  • Lea Rosa Holtfreter - Civil Society / Youth Representation
  • Nick Shorey, Cyber security and global Internet policy specialist, Private sector
Moderator: Minda Moreira - Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC), Civil Society
Remote Moderator: Luis Gustavo -  Youth Coalition on Internet Governance (YCIG)
Rapporteur: Marianne Franklin -  Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC), Goldsmiths, University of London

Session Agenda
Part I
* Introduction & Launch of the IRPC French Charter  
* Keynotes:
    * Fridays for Future Berlin
    * Feminist Internet
* Panel discussion followed by onsite and remote participants feedback

Part II  -
4 breakout sessions: *Let us know which one you will join, by filling in this form

Group 1 - The Internet is killing the Planet! - How can we reduce the carbon footprint of internet-dependent technologies
Issues: Manufacturing, Consumption, E-waste.
Facilitator & Rapporteur: Nick Shorey

Group 2- Sustainability by design: Creating rights-based and environmentally conscious technologies
Issues: Design, Emerging technologies, Sustainability
Facilitator & Rapporteur: Chris Adams

Group 3 -  Saving the Planet and Fighting the trolls:  The rise of the young climate movement in an era of structured misinformation campaigns and online harassment
Issues: Youth Activism vs online climate misinformation
Facilitator & Rapporteur: Lea Holtfreter  

Group 4 - The human cost of the Climate Crisis: How to ensure sustainable human development through the Internet and protection of rights and empowerment of climate “migrants” in the online environment
Issues: digital inclusion, development through the Internet, climate “migrants” rights to access and protection in the online environment
Facilitator & Rapporteur: June Parris

Part III
* Presentation of break out groups outcomes
* Remote participation feedback
* Final points & recommendations

Objectives of this session:
  1.  Accelerate the awareness of the digital environmental impacts among all the IGF stakeholders and put the environmental issue and its connection with the ICTs on the forefront of the main IG agendas;
  2.  Listen to and act upon the main concerns of the younger generations;
  3. Address the major issues arising from the fast increase of energy consumption and carbon footprint of internet dependent technologies: production, consumption and e-waste; climate misinformation online and harassment of youth climate activists and identify the society impact and the human rights directly affected directly by the environmental hazards of internet dependent technologies (e.g. forced labour, climate migration);
  4. Create a collective hub, bringing together all IGF participants to produce the creative solutions urgently needed to ensure that next generation of internet-dependent technologies provide technologically viable and sustainable responses to issues arising from global environmental degradation.

Policy Questions: Outcomes and Interventions
Questions that this meeting will address include, but are not restricted to:
  1. Which human rights are directly affected by the environmental impact of internet-dependent technologies?
  2. How can the digitalization and networking of the urban environment, such as digital/smart cities projects, take into account the principles, and practice of environmental sustainability and  “human rights by design”?
  3. How can global, and national internet policymaking agendas better respond to existing and future environmental issues arising from connecting the Sustainable Development Goals with those aiming to “Connect the next billion”?
  4. In which specific areas - of public concern, geography, or internet design – can different stakeholders generate working relationships for sustainable, rights-based internet futures?

Session Organizers
avatar for Internet Rights and Principles Coalition/Amnesty International

Internet Rights and Principles Coalition/Amnesty International

The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (IRPC) is an open network of individuals and organizations committed to making the Internet work for human rights, based on the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet: Amnesty International is a global movement... Read More →

Wednesday November 27, 2019 11:30 - 13:00 CET
Estrel Saal B