The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its second annual ICT Sustainability Index, which ranks the ability of the G20 nations to reduce their CO2 emissions through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The ICT Sustainability Index was first released in December 2009 to coincide with the United Nations COP15 meeting in Copenhagen. Economic challenges had a significant influence on the 2011 Index Scores, limiting the impact of ICT investments and slowing the adoption of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.
The results of the ICT Sustainability Index show that Japan continues to lead the G20 nations with a significant margin over the United States, France, Germany, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Within the top tier of countries, the Index Score for the United States fell slightly, moving it into a three-way tie for the number 2 position with France and Germany, both of which maintained the same Index score as the first release. Similarly, the United Kingdom slipped to the number 3 position, tied with Brazil. China's Index Score dropped by 3 points, largely affected by increased CO2 emissions as its economy avoided the economic slowdown by meeting its energy demands via fossil fueled power stations. Russia and South Africa were the only countries among the G20 to improve its Index Score over the 2009 results.
"We expected the global recession to have a marked impact on the balance between ICT and economic development, and indeed it showed up, in particular with China," said Vernon Turner senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, and Telecom Research. "However, IDC believes that China's significant investments in sustainability through its 12th Five Year Plan will help improve its ranking as it benefits from its renewable energy strategy combined with its intelligent economy plans."
The 2011 ICT Sustainability Index was created using data sources that reflect energy creation, consumption, and ICT spending among the G20 nations over the past two years. Events from 2011 were not taken into account in generating this year's Index Scores.
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