To no one's surprise, a virtually meaningless agreement came out of the Copenhagen climate summit. No real targets were set for reducing greenhouse gas emissions because none of the major countries responsible want to shoulder the costs. Meanwhile, the deniers have established a successful cottage industry for those who prefer more comforting "facts." They even have their own hackers.
Despite the predictability of these developments, I can't help but find them appalling, especially given the dire Climate Change Congress Synthesis Report that set the stage for the Copenhagen event.
If the governments of the industrialized world are too timid or locked in internecine political battles to do anything significant about climate change, then businesses need to step up to the plate on their own and get serious about sustainability. Wasting less energy is the quickest, cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions -- and, of course, it has a tendency to save money in the bargain.
Here at InfoWorld we believe the tech industry has a key role to play in sustainability, which is why we launched our Sustainable IT blog, written by InfoWorld's Ted Samson, nearly three years ago. Also, every year on Earth Day, we present our Green 15 Awards to honor companies that have launched initiatives that have a substantial, positive effect on the environment.
The tech industry's charter goes beyond reducing power consumption in the datacenter. As contributor Betsy Harter noted in Tech's looming battle against rising energy costs, the datacenter typically accounts for a small percentage of a company's carbon footprint. Don't get me wrong: Efforts to green the datacenter can yield huge savings. Yet IT can also play a pivotal role in changing energy-wasting practices across the organization.
At Copenhagen, on stage at the Green Business palladium, the business analytics company SAS was there pitching the power of data analysis to help companies make smart decisions about sustainability.