This week and next, private companies and sub-nationals are joining governments from around the world in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP23. At the event, participants aim to solidify plans to help achieve the collective carbon-reduction targets outlined in Paris two years ago.
Microsoft is proud to be participating in the event. During this past week, Microsoft representatives have joined in discussions to share our experiences and insights as to how technology can be deployed to help reduce energy demands, curb emissions and accelerate climate solutions. As COP23 enters the second week, we look forward to hosting demos at our booth and participating in panel discussions with world leaders.
We believe that technology can and must play a role in addressing climate change and advancing resiliency, and to that end, Microsoft is excited to share that our technology is helping achieve these aims by powering COP23 itself. We will be providing Skype and Skype Broadcast services throughout the conference that will enable international delegations, who are unable to travel to this important global event, to use our technology to participate in the various activities at COP23.
And, in addition, Microsoft is a sponsor of the Hack4Climate hackathon, the world’s first blockchain hackathon to fight climate change. The hackathon will be powered by Blockchain as a Service on Microsoft Azure. Our commitment to advancing and accelerating the global dialogue on sustainability is also taking shape at this week’s GreenBuild International Conference and Expo in Boston, where we announced a commitment to pursue LEED Gold certification for our entire portfolio of owned datacenters under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED volume program. This builds on Microsoft’s ongoing work to green our own datacenters and creates a standardized set of design and performance criteria to serve as a “blueprint” to certify greener, more efficient datacenters industry wide.
At an event this week in Lisbon, at Planet:Tech, I shared our view on how AI can be applied to areas of biodiversity, climate change, agriculture and water. I was also fortunate enough to spend time meeting with both startups and large multi-national corporations, who are investing to create new approaches to managing the planet’s resources in a more sustainable way.
As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, it is exciting to see progress happening on sustainability. The pace of innovation and investment continues to accelerate, and I can’t help but be optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead. From Boston to Lisbon to Bonn, startups, governments, NGO’s and corporations are working together to address some of the critical environmental challenges we all face.
If you are attending COP23 this year, I invite you to stop by our digital transformation booth inside the U.N. delegation hall to learn more about how Microsoft’s technology and services can help people and organizations achieve their own environmental goals. In addition, a listing of Microsoft’s public panel engagements in Bonn is provided below, and you can follow us on Twitter @Microsoft_Green for daily updates throughout the conference.
- “Transforming Carbon and Energy Markets through Advanced Technology” at 10:00 CET at the U.S. Climate Pavilion
- “The Economic Case for Climate Action” at 13:00 CET at the U.S. Climate Pavilion
- “What Actions Can Companies Take to Reduce Vulnerability and Enhance Resilience in the Communities along their Supply Chain?” at 11:30 CET at the Kameha Grand Hotel, sponsored by BSR
- “The United Nations System, Industry 4.0 and Its Potential for Climate Solutions” at 13:15 CET (Watch live stream)
- “Paradigm Shifts in the Boardroom – Corporate Face of Energy Transformation” at 14:45 CET at the Deutsche Post DHL Tower
- “U.S. Businesses Leading on Climate” at 16:00 CET at the U.S. Climate Pavilion, sponsored by C2ES
- “Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Transformative Climate Solutions” at 10:00 at the World Conference Center
- “U.S. Business Showcase Session 6: We Are All In This Together” at 15:45 CET at the U.S. Climate Pavilion