The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MODERATOR: Hello. Welcome to the internet rights coalition. My name is Minda Moreira and I'm moderating this on Internet Futures and the Climate Crisis. This has a breakout format. So, we hope that this will allow plenty of room for discussion.
For breakout group, you just need to follow the facilitator with one of the colors. But, so, on this panel, and for this session, we will have -- first, we will start with some presentations from the family internet, a nonprofit organization based in London and UK. Then you'll have the movement because they couldn't be here. So we will have them here anyway.
Later, we will go to our panel discussion and we will have Chris Adams here from Climate Action. Christopher Olk over here, international labor organization. I think we're still missing Constanze Buerger? Yes. She would be the government representative. And then we also have Lea Rose Holtfreter, of civil society and our youth representation.
For the breakout group, we also have June Paris from the RTC, and Nick Shorey. Both of them are joining Lea and Chris. I'm the on-site moderator for this session. Gustavo Sosa is the remote moderator for this session. Marianne Franklin, over there, going to be the rap tour of the session -- rapporteur of this session. So, before we start our panel discussion today, let me talk a little bit about the internet. For those who haven't heard about us before. And we are an open network of individuals and organizations based here at the internet governance forum committed to making human rights and principles work for the on-line environment.
So, we're one of the 17 coalitions that -- 17 currently at IGF. Since 2014, we also observe the council of Europe's treaty on information, the CDSI.
Our main output, some of you already know, is the charter of human rights and principles for the internet. Which has been published in ten languages. We have seven here. And so if you want one copy, feel free. And the charter has 21 rights and 10 principles. All of them are translated in 26 different languages.
Today we've been excited that we're launching the French addition to the charter. Thanks to them. And the Swiss have come for generous support. So, it's really, really exciting to have all the ten translations. The Russians still awaiting for the layout format but also the Kurdish and the Farsi. So, it's really, really interesting that finally we get them all together at IGF. Feel free to take a copy later on.
If you would like to get more involved in the work of the RPC, please feel free to try our mailing list. You can join our social networks or if you want to get more directly involved, with our steering committee, which soon we will have our annual elections. So, let's keep an eye on it and you can catch on if you would like to get more directly involved in our work.
So, for today's session, we will be focusing on the charter of human rights and principles for the internet and article 4, the right to development through the internet. And, close B here, the most important one for us today, environmental sustainability.
The internet must be used in a sustainable way. This relates to the disposal of waste and to the use of the internet for protection of the environment. This obviously also relates to the sustainable development goals more directly. And this one, the number 13 climate action. So, now I would like to go to our first presentation that comes from the feminist internet based on a recent project for design and ecological Alexa. So, let's go directly to there.
>> How with can we uncover the enormous impact internet technologies have on the environment and what steps and changes can we take to prevent against large scale ecological damage. A project created by the internet and created by UAL's institute. A one-day workshop in October was created to investigate the role of technology within the current climate crisis. The workshop asks students to design a personal intelligent assistant with an ecological need and approach to the environment in conscious design. With an estimated 2.71 billion smart phone users in the world and a connection of 20 billion devices by 2020, increasing attention needs to be drawn to the impact of the everyday use of technologies. However, because of unclear supply chains, overpowering marketing language and a reliance on technology, it could be difficult to predict the planetary impact of the devices on daily life.
We need people to work together to tackle the issues, creating response, heightened awareness, and shift the future of the planet. A nonprofit organization on a mission to make the internet more equal for all, through creative, critical practice. Starting with a body of work call ed feminist Alexa, we'll explore the patriarchal biases and justices. It took a step further, suggesting the same oppressive forces are desire driven-design processes. By driving up digital consumption, it's Jeb rating massive carbon footprints and electronic ways to expense the earth's climate and resources.
Placing the workshop at the intersection of human rights and environmental advocacy, we hope to conceptualize more responsible, ethical, and sustainable ways of designing for the future of the internet and our planet.
The participants discuss problems highlighting the impact s of the immaterial space of the internet. The impact of climate change upon those living in the global south. We worked with subject experts and practitioners, Tom Jarrett and Chris decker of low-tech magazine to introduce experiments and provocations to the workshop. To support the process, we created a feminist design tool in collaboration with the research. The tool consists of eight prompts that think about the values they embed within their design as they create it. The question is only to make the design better by assuring the perpetuating biases or inequalities by addressing environmental need or justice. There are projects ranged from small subject, all of which reduce consumption and encourage environmentally conscious habits. They included a lightweight ACII mapping system, a powered PIA, and statistics and advice regarding the use of digital carbon footprint.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for that great introduction. And back to our presentation. So thank you, very much. And now we're going to the future, which also has a message to the IGF.
>> (Speaking non-English language)
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. For these great presentations. And I also wanted to mention this session today follows already our previous meeting last year. And also, the footsteps of others who have been trying to bring the installations to the IGF. Namely, the -- the dynamic coalition on climate change that has not been working in the last few years. And, Michael, thank you very much for all of these.
I would like to make a few questions to our panel today. My first question to the panel would be what you consider to be the most pressing issue in relationship between the internet and the climate crisis, and what do you think that the IGF community can -- so three minutes each, sorry. We have little time. We could start possibly with Chris. Thank you.
>> CHRIS ADAMS: Can you -- wow, it's like the voice of God. Okay. I think one of the key things that we need to be thinking about if we're talking about the internet is that the internet runs on electricity and that electricity has to come somewhere. And I kind of think one of the most important things do is have a coherent world view about the fold of the internet and how we work first before we start thinking about anything else from here. And I kind of would like to suggest to you that the -- I think if we think about the way the internet works, the internet that runs on fossil fuels should be considered faulty because it's causing avoidable harm that we don't need to be causing anymore. And I think most of us realize that the internet is incredibly useful tool.
It stands there's unavoidable harm caused by it every time we download a file or send something. That's one of the first thing s we should be addressing and we're going to have to have Frank conversations within the organization. And also have an understanding about the impact of carbon and the role it's playing. In technology, we may mean well but we're functionally illiterate when it comes to talking about carbon.
This is the key determining factor on how we work. I think we need to kind of invest in some skills and invest in the ability to talk about this. How we use resources and purchase things can use us to inform policy. The W3C have been talking about cognitive principles in a n their own principles. You're seeing cases where large organizations like Google or Microsoft are doing -- making some headway. But at the same time, there are also we also have a conversation, the organized people who run the internet provide much of the infrastructure, these are the same companies aiding the extraction of fossil fuels from the ground. This is not like a -- this is something we need to be able to talk about in turn. We can say, okay, if we are going to be relying on innovation and these kinds of changes to basically be the kind of great hope of the future, then we need to have a world view in certain organizations and be able to count carbon and realize that's the single thing we need to track more than anything else.
We have seen reports that we need to reduce emissions if we want to avoid it which is largely going to avoid the worst of the changing climate. The last time we saw drops in emissions like that was basically at the Soviet -- the collapse of the Soviet Union, right? So, we -- I don't think we fully understand just how much we need to change here. And I think we have left it so late that we need to have some radical change. In how we think about it and how we think about pretty much everything we do of which technology is a part of.
And although it's -- like globally speaking, the tech industry and like -- and these are the internet is relatively small, we're about 2% of emissions, we are -- we are so much easier to fix than other industries. And I think if we can't get our own house in order, it will be difficult for us to achieve some of the other ones and we're a well-resourced, very mobile group. So we should be doing something about this. It's an ethical -- it's an ethical issue from my point of view.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Chris. Maybe now we can have Christopher Olk. Thank you?
>> CHRISTOPHER OLK: I do agree, we need to fix the power sources of the internet. Not such an easy task, because we need to fix the power relations on the internet. I think the impact of those business models that govern the digital economy today is much, much greater than just the impact of the technology that the internet runs on. Platform business models make markets more efficient. They make nice to have but not essential goods cheaper and they do advertisement. Those are the three major business models and basically on a planet that's so clearly headed towards mass extinction, the last thing we need is to use the best technologies for stuff like advertisement. Jeff Bezos said he wanted to know wishes before needs. We live in an economy that serves needs and not the other way around. The first thing we need to do is accept how extensible this crisis is and redirect our innovation towards a path that's safe. But also think we shouldn't stop there. Because innovation alone is not enough. We tried to leave the solution to the climate practice to market-based innovation for 40 years. Now we know safely it hasn't worked.
The internet. One good thing it does -- or the so-called sharing economy, one good thing it promised was to replace physical goods by more sustainable services. But, if you have expensive goods and you substitute them with cheap services, you still end up consuming more. This is why we have so many smart phones. We have the free information goods. We end up buying more complementary physical goods that are sustainable. So this is why I think innovation, if we redirected, we need to reign in markets and we cannot leave it to an idea that green growth has been proven not to work for 40 years.
I wanted to start this actually by reminding us of some of the basic facts. I'm sorry if this is comfortable. We have eight years to get to zero emissions. Some have less time. We won't be able to do this without major changes in the way we govern the economy.
So, I'm here for extinction rebellion and the essential amount of extinction rebellion is to introduce citizens that will be able to make some of the decisions that are necessary. I would go further and say we need to democratize the digital economy like co-ops, democratic governance models, union-based platform workers and others. But, yeah, I wanted to really stress that this is an extensible crisis and a time to ask extensible questions.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Christopher? Would you like to say something else?
>> CHRISTOPHER OLK: People in the global south and people have been fighting this for decades and we have no climate policy that deserves the name. So maybe I can use this moment for the recall. Most of us are in privileged positions, so, please, think really hard about whether you want to join this fight in some way or another. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Lea?
>> LEA ROSA HOLTFRETER: Okay. It's always a bit hard to follow up on so many good comments already. I can agree with my -- with you two, for example -- we can already start with the most obvious fact which is behind it which was talked about as well with almost 3.5 billion internet users nowadays. It's obviously a very, very urgent issue to address where the energy is coming from especially for the server operations. I think how we saw it in Fridays for Future, they're trying to pick the companies that do something about it, that do have service, or do use renewable energy specifically. And I think technically, it is -- it's hard. But I think it is a subject we can check off with a serious amount of commitment that the IGF can work on. It's important to bring governmental representatives and private representatives from companies like Google who did not join us today, actually.
>> That's not true.
>> That's not true. So sorry. You did join. Maybe I didn't. Okay, never mind, then.
>> LEA ROSA HOLTFRETER: It's important to get us all at the table. That's what I wanted to say. I think -- it's a topic we need to make more visible because I think the transportation sector is something, we can see every day, we can see it. The internet almost feels invisible. It's important to get companies behind it, like, for example, Google. For example, our Fridays for future representative said as well.
But another important point I wanted to make is a bit trickier because it's more about what's talked about on the internet. Because the climate crisis is an emotional topic for several reasons you know about. It's the idea of extinction is obviously very frightening and also and that's why there's a big target for disinformation campaign where we're seeing in election s where populist parties spread false information on the climate issue where they're trying to have that at their new subject that they talk about and talk about in false terms.And with the internet, like other political issue, very easy to spread the false news. You have a large audience for it. That's something we need to address, especially companies like Facebook and twitter need to make sure that this kind of targeted advertisement needs to be talked about and banned if it contains false information. It's important to have in their panels to talk about disinformation is important for them to address the issues specifically about the climate issue as well. So, I think, yes, for the IGF, I think it's a good platform, like Karla said. It's important to address. I haven't seen that much before. And I think it's important to address it now. I think -- I'm happy to discuss it furtherer in the breakout sessions. I don't know, we already have good content, so, yeah, thank you.
>> MODERATOR: We were supposed to have Will from Google present here. He couldn't turn up last minute. So, it's great to have you here. So, if you would like to join one or two points with these, what can we do about it? Why is it not just a bigger issue here? Why is just our session at the moment focusing on this?
>> First of all, it's a start. I guess what I would say is it's a matter of framing it in the context of internet governance, right? That is -- the main challenge or the first step we have to do. How does it fit into the internet governance? It's a little bit like AI, right? AI governance is a really interesting topic. I think the format of the IGF is excellent to address it and to deliberate. But I'm not 100% sure how much it falls in the focus. The IGF is discussing many topics which in the end makes it less focused and productive in a way. That's by no means dismissing the topic at all.
>> MODERATOR: Yes, thank you. I was hoping because climate action is part of the sustainable development goals this would be something that people would feel stronger about in the IGF community and focus a little bit more. So hopefully this is actually the start and hopefully next year we will have some proper and main sessions just on the climate crisis. Thank you.
So, now I think we could open to anyone who would like to either ask a question to the panel or add a few comments? We have a few minutes. And then Gustav will let us know if there's been any participation remotely. Thank you. So, any questions? Thank you, Michael?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm Michael Ogea, I work with the global forum for media development. But this is a topic that's near and dear to my heart.
I just want to very quickly have an intervention and say I actually already answered that question, Max, and it's a good thing, I'm not chiding, in a good way. In one of my key -- one of the key points that I made to address that is that because this endeavor has to be multi-stakeholder, I think that the IGF is an ideal place for that, because it brings together, especially a company -- companies, you know, civil society, and governments. So, we need robust public policy. We need more sustainability by design, that's something that companies need to address, obviously with public support. That's a very, very quick synopsis of how I think this is potentially one of the best places to address sustainability in ICT.
>> If I may come back. We're in alignment. I agree the format is right. But I would actually suggest that you guys -- and I would join immediately, create something that is offset of the IGF that addresses this topic in this format.
I absolutely agree that communities like extinction rebellion and the private sector and all of the different players should sit in rounds exactly like this one. I just don't think that, you know, it's about internet governance as someone was pointing out, I think it's 2% of the global energy and so on and so forth. All for, I don't know, divide and conquer.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. I'm C Benedict from Austria. I'm involved in drafting the charter that we have in front of us. I have to they at the time, climate change was not such an issue as it is now. And in my view, this is a living document. We have environmental sustainability there, we have the basic principle there. But it would need more refinement. So, I would like to invite those who feel like to contribute to a further development of this provision and in the context of sustainable development goals so that it is giving more guidance to say from a human rights perspective. And regarding the issue of how to deal with this, I mean, this is -- this is the dynamic coalition in which the internetwise and principles. I'm not sure, do we have already a dynamic coalition which is dealing with climate change? And the digital economy.
If that is not the case, then maybe some people should think about it.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, any other questions? Marian?
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: Thanks, Max. I should beg to differ. I think this topic is at the heart of internet governance if you accept that it's about decisions on the design of these technologies, on the terms of access and use of this technology, and on the storing or management of the huge, huge amounts of data that is generated by these technologies, than to ignore the environmental implications on the building of the server farms, the environmental impacts of the underwater submarine cables, the amount of effects that the electricity needed to cool and or heat the data centers if it's possible to separate the issues around climate crisis, extinction, sustainability, the planet. Impossible for me to separate that with anything from internet governance. So, I think I would counter your point and say what we need is more granularity is showing just as the charter has done exactly where the climate is relevant for every single topic that is traditionally understood as internet governance. Rather than add the climate and stir, we are is climate this, is our environment. We want the internet to survive, the planet needs to survive. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Marianne. There's another question in the back?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I would probably just second that one. There are two issues here. One is ICT is still very new. Maybe 2% now. But there's so much new markets being built on this technology, like property technology or IOT. So, I think this sector is going to grow. If we don't change it from the beginning and give it another direction, we would have the same problem as we now have with cars.
The second issue, I think, is interesting is how much power and money is being put in the digital transportation. And at the same time, we are in the need of climate transformation and logical transformation. These two things are seen as something separate. And it's wondersome to see how much money could be spent on the other one, the more crucial one, maybe. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. We have two more questions. So, first, here on my right and then Max again on my left.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, thank you. I'm working for French -- the European parliament. We had the discussion a bit yesterday about how we need to build more bridges between especially tech people and the ones in the environment and climate change. So, I would go to the direction of what the last two speakers have said, namely we need to go where people already are. And to make demos reflect on the subject that they're used to.
I also think about that phrase in climate change where you have to think more about tech and not just in the terms of it's going to save the day. So, my question would be more how we can make, well, the environment and climate change a bigger topic within IGF. I understand there's one session today that is amazing because it has not been the case until now. But instead of creating an entirely new venue where we would have to fly again to somewhere else, we could just start something here at IGF. So who would be the relevant people to talk to in order to get a bigger topic for next year.
On the numbers I have is more like 4% of global emissions in 2020 attributed to digital technologies. You're right. It's completely rising. What do we do for next year?
>> MODERATOR: Brilliant. Thank you. I think next year the climate crisis is going to be the big thing. So, Max, thank you.
>> Max: I have good news and bad news for you. It's a self-service environment. I remember when Wolfgang, Marianne and others in the room started with the bill of rights and started the dynamic coalition about, with a, ten years ago or so? Nobody asked, nobody told us what do and who we could ask. I think it's a beautiful thing in a way that the only thing is you can't ask anybody else to do something. It's really -- you can go and write the proposal to create a dynamic coalition, write in this minute, and I think that's really empowering, actually.
But just to try again to give it a more positive nudge too, I think that the internet is eating the world and if that's true, then internet governance means governments of all aspects of our human endeavors. And to end and, hence, the argument can be made this is the most important topic and that in every place that where politics are happening, it should play a major role.
That said, though, I want to point to the high-level report, the digital interdependence. And there is one option that suggests to develop more sectorial government discussions. I think it's option three that they're outlining. And to -- I think in such a scenario where the IGF is evolving and we're looking into new setups, that might very well be useful place for a coalition and for work in this space.
However, I think contrary to what has been brought up, I don't necessarily think -- if this is the biggest problem on mankind, focusing on something that makes 2% of pollution and energy consumption might not be the best use of your time. I think using the internet to organize and bring other people to draw other stakeholders into this conversation might be a better use of everybody's time to really drive and organize rather than, you know, focusing on the internet governance aspect.
>> MODERATOR: Well, we need to move on. Thank you, Max. We need to move on to the breakout groups so we can discuss in depth all of these questions. So, we will take one last question. Yeah, yeah. You. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Great. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak up. I'm from the youth governance forum this year. Well, we met first in September to agree upon some statement, one of them was definitely about the climate change. And that we wish an eco-friendly internet in the future as we need to live without the future. This is the thing we want to bring forward, not just in the national context but also in the international context. We would love to work together with organizations like Fridays for Our Future and others who come together and make our voice heard. If anyone is interested in any discussions, we're in the sustainability corner in the food court every day from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
And we would be happy to discuss with you all of our 11 statements. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone. I think now we can move to the breakout groups. So, we have -- just -- we have group one, the internet is killing the planet. How can we reduce carbon footprint of the internet technologies. So, Nick Shorey is going to be the facilitator and rapporteur of this group. So, follow Nick with his orange card. Then we will have -- we will have group two. With Chris Adams. Sustainability by design, creating rights based environmental conscious technologies. So, you could just join Chris on this side of the room.
The, saving the planet and fighting the trolls, the rise of the young climate movement in an era of structured misinformation campaigns and on-line arrestment, in particular, for young females these days. So, Lea, is going to be the facilitator. So just follow her. Thank you. And finally, we have the human cost of the climate crisis. Sustainable human development through the internet and protection of rights and empowerment of climate migrants in the environment. So, migrants because there's a bigger question if they have called refugees or migrants. Right now, the name is migrants. But is it true?
So, June, our facilitator and rapporteur will help you more on this discussion. Thank you very much. She'll be going --
>> JUNE PARRIS: Just on this side. Thank you. So, we will be back in around a half an hour. So please feel free to discuss as much as you like.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone, for the discussions. I'm calling the groups now for the presentations. So all of the facilitators, if they could come and report on each one of the groups. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone. We'll start with group two, sustainability by design, creating rights based and environmentally conscious technologies. So, we have Chris Adams reporting.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. I have --
>> CHRIS ADAMS: I have two minutes to summarize the conversation we had. We spoke to individual people -- Minda, should I go? What should I do here?
>> MODERATOR: We can wait another minute or so. Because we have very little time. Thank you.
>> CHRIS ADAMS: Most people are sitting down. I would like to run through in in two minutes. You're in my group, raise your hand so if people are interested, they know how to speak to in more detail. We spoke about solutions, the fact there's more to tech and ethics around this than CO2 and e-waist, cripto currency and digital economies and innovation, and whether the sustainability is got a handle on this. We spoke about solutions. Not to be too solutions, but in many cases there are examples of organizations doing the right thing, which I think -- which should be rewarded in many should be recognized. They have a relative -- a much more ethical and considered supply chain. However, the way we currently reward tech companies we basically subsidize companies who do shift costs on the the people who are least able to bear these right now. It's the thing we should be doing something about.
But in many cases, there are -- we spoke about the fact that there are groups doing interesting work that make it easier to have these kind of conversations when in organizations about how things are built and what the unintended consequences of these things might be. The example is everyone. Other events like consequence scanning.
So, there are some things throughout that help out. We spoke about the SDGs, because a lot of the work has gone into finding ways that have indicators to see if we're doing more good than harm. But right now, there's no kind of data base to be able to track this or see how organizations are doing compared to each other.
One thing we found, there was a group called Wiki-rate. Also, in this room, please raise your hand, person, who is actually doing some work specifically to make this possible. We also said that in many cases there's a tradeoff between design for privacy and design for sustainability or design for innovation or something. We currently tend to look at the upside without thinking too much about the downside. We don't have a way of talking to each other or being able to make tradeoffs with this yet. It feels like that's the thing we need to explore and could explore in more details. We spoke about crypto currencies because, of course, we did. Generally, it's about all of the quarter of the service on earth, that's the same impact of crypto currency's own figures. Maybe we should discuss that instead of fossil fuels. We talked about digital -- we can't reward the bad behavior. If we reward the same behavior we see resulting in climbing emissions or thinking of things like attacks on carbon and finding a way to actually propose say carbon emissions into how we select who we work with or who we buy services from at the organization or government level because in many cases, those are the bigger levers than individual action.
Once again, when we talk about innovation versus sustainability this, is the thing people say in the context of AI, we do not have good ways to basically talk about the tradeoffs or we didn't. But there are groups like climatechange.AI sharing models to understand this. They're sharing syllabuses. So, in groups, people can educate themselves. So, there is good work taking place. There is a real need for people inside of tech to do something with it. We have search engines work. We don't have a carbon. text to talk about how the fact that we are as a group like say the top -- we're some of the largest tech -- tech is full of some of the largest companies in the world, but no coherent way to compare which company is doing better than others now on an extensible problem. That's stuff we discovered and explored. Hopefully that wasn't too much of the two minutes. Raise your hands one more time, folks? Yes, that's it, thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Chris. Now we're going to group one, the internet is destroying the planet, Nick Shorey.
>> NICK SHOREY: Thank you, Minda. Mine is the internet is killing the planet. Thank you to everyone who participated. We discussed the impacts of the internet and internet-dependent technologies on the environment. And also what, you know, further action people feel needs to be taken collectively as governments, businesses, and end users to reduce our car upon footprint.
So, the group identified several key negative impacts. The first of which was the business models of many tech firm which is are increasingly driven by advertising, knowing more about customers and markets, which, in turn, leads to increased levels of data of consumption.
A further move towards streaming is also contributing to this. And there's a question of, you know, how much -- how much data really needs to be captured and produced and how much of these services do we really need. It was also felt that there was a lack of transparency around supply chains, what our products are built with, and where materials are sourced. The issue was also raised of the ever-decreasing life cycle of products, which is leading to faster deprivation of devices and then contributes to -- e-waste.
One further point that was mentioned was that the -- the greater affordability of data -- of data, server, server farms and stuff, actually means developers are not forced to think in an energy efficiency terms when they're developing their software. So, then, key points that the group raised with regards to what further action can we take to address these issues? It was raised -- it was mentioned that we need a view of the whole system when considering how to promote and develop solutions. It was suggested that a carbon tax would provide commercial incentive on businesses and organizations to be more efficient in their use of energy.
It was suggested that it should be built into all projects how to develop the services in an energy efficient way. One of the participant s cited GDP are is something that could be used in an environment context. Under GDDPR Germany, companies have to demonstrate a requirement in the process of the storage of data taken in an energy consumption manner. This could also support this. We need to focus on devices that are particularly exposable. And we mentioned around the life cycle issues.
And the legislation to decrease the amount of background data that's transferred when people are using the internet. Responsible investment, engage in investors to make sure they put requirements on the companies that they invest in to consider the environmental impacts of their operations.
There was also a -- as a counselor to this, there was also raised when we consider the policies, we need to remember -- we need to remember the disproportionate impacts that some of these well-meaning policies could have the on the global south whose key drive is just to get internet access in the first place to support education, economic development. So as we continue these discussions, it's important to make sure that the collaboration across all parties and all regions and communities to make sure that progress in one of the areas we don't impact people in another.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Now, two minutes more from group three.
[ Applause ]
>> MODERATOR: Group three is Lea and saving the planet and fighting controls. Thank you.
>> LEA ROSA HOLTFRETER: Thank you so much. Where are the people in my group? Sitting in the back. Thank you for participating. I think we had a nice lively discussion that's hands on, I think. Because I think we exchanged our experiences with on-line investment and the problems that are related to climate issues and other issues mixed up with it like sexism and racism as well. We had people from NGOs to journalism students. And
Well, first we talked about, yes, for arrestment and, for example, for twitter was one channel that reacted to it but it really blocked the person trolling. But it is a bit difficult to have the companies take these comments down.
And an experience that's a webinar on climate change. And they were obviously really comments that were very -- hurting and very -- yeah. Mixed up with false information as well. And the way to tackle this issue with that was to respond in a calm and factual way. I come back later to the idea of how to tackle this issue in general, because that's what we talked about then.
We talked about the situation in Brazil, specifically. We know it's an urgent issue right now. It's very much in the news as well with the rain forest. And we talked about how also the state and big company and big oil are participating in these disinformation campaigns. Brazil, for example, is mixed up with racist comments, indigenous people, are mixed up with climate activists. Then, what is very important at the end that we talked about the possible solutions that we can find for these issues as well. One thing that I said already was that if you, for example, moderate that you can also in general and all platforms that you can respond to comments in a calm and factual way that you can reference sources that you are scientifically reviewed and really get to the -- not let the comments stand by itself but really engage with it. And one point that was raised, education and improvement of -- it's a very big task. Something we all agreed on was very important to have people really realize when they see false information online and really deal with that in a critical way. And differentiate between the different sources.
Another really interesting point that might be a bit connected to that on a more academic level, the improvement of research on the specific issue of the estimate of climate activists, there's already research on this topic but not specifically on climate activism. And one comment was that it's important to see who the perpetrators are, if it's individuals or targeted to campaigns, it needs to be dealt with in different ways, depending on where these comments come from. That it is urgent as well to exchange different points of research and to prove that and to exchange best practice as well, for example, if we have knowledge on the way to tackle the U.S. journalists, that it could be brought together with climate activists. And, yes, thank you. That's it.
[ Applause ]
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Lea. The last group is the human cost of the climate crisis with June Paris reporting. Thank you.
>> JUNE PARRIS: I would like to thank my group. We had an interesting discussion, not enough time to do so. But we started -- yeah, we started off by started out talking about the Maldives where people live and it's possible that the island will eventually be covered by water. 400,000? Okay. You'll correct me in a minute.
So, we talked about are locating these people.
Where are you going to go? There are places that are sinking. We talked about creating land and how the internet is having an effect on climate change. In terms of more internet, which is increasing demand on again like a cycle, more internet puts more demand on energy and energy creates climate change, climate change creates climate migration, sorry, migration, same thing. We looked at global warming which was negative and one comment was to get rid of Amazon? Why? Because of economic activity is using more energy, which, I sort of agree with.
So how can we help this? For example, in the Middle East, they have grassroots programs for like growing deserts. But for the future, a need -- we need to exchange practices. We need to build in ideas, building islands is a good idea. But, some of us feel it has an effect on life in the ocean. Why are these being built and why are we doing this sort of development. This is to attract tourists.
Now, is tourism such a good idea? That's another question. One of the comments is we should have working tourists or volunteering tourists. So instead of using the energy and contaminating the islands, they come to build the islands and make things a lot better. So, we also think, the question, are local people informed about climate change? Do they know about it? Are they educated about it? There are some programs in some parts of the world. On tourism, local people are not going to try to save energy, they're going try to attract tourism. And things that affect it, jet skis, water sports, that kills the fish, the reefs, and the turtles.
So, even though we depend on tourism, we need to fix tourism so this doesn't happen. One of our participants works in a museum in Germany and they want to include more in climate change in terms of building the museum.
So, we think -- we also thought technology was not the solution. In some cases. We need to get dimensions right and we need a new word, "degrowth." We have too much technology and we thought we should probably recycle what we've got instead of getting a new phone, a new charger, a new whatever -- you send it back to the company, they'll fix it and send it back to you, almost brand new without giving you a new one. You have to expose the old ones to get the new ones.
I brought up a subject. There's a gentleman I know that's using old mobile phones to create energy. I can't research this. My time is rubbing out.
Sinking islands, less rainfall, dependency on farming without rain, and the work -- so we work -- some islands are also working like about bringing rain -- how to bring rain back but we also said it also involves technology. How can we find a way to do it? How can we bring more rain without using technology?
So, we need the power to drive the technology, but it needs to be controlled. Okay? Any comments from my participants? No, I forgot to mention?
>> MODERATOR: I think that's it. We have only two minutes left. So unfortunately, I can't open to more questions. But I would like to just -- finish this session with another question, a quick question to the panel just based on all of these outcomes of the breakout sessions. So are you -- are your recommendations for the internet governance community, what do you think we can do in order to promote a more sustainable internet? Thank you. And we can start with Chris.
>> CHRIS ADAMS: I think one of the first things we need to do is recognize that all technology is political. By saying it's not political, there's a acceptance of the status quo. We need to change the aesthetic around tech. We need to talk about the what we used to build on the future. Maybe we should be talking about organizations that helped to get fossil fuels out of the game or help with disinformation on video websites that are kind of prioritized kicks over the actual science, things like that. I think it's a conversation we need to keep happening. And I don't think it makes sense to put it in a separate space when this is pervasive and no society or economy without an environment. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, quickly one minute for Christopher, thank you?
>> CHRISTOPHER OLK: Let's try to get the scale right. Let's try to understand the dimensions. We're born of a world that will only be able to feed 1 billion people by the end of the century or sooner. And we're talking a lot about very particular, very local solutions that we'll need a long time to scale up. And I think there's a big gap between this. So my recommendation for IGF, always, think about the scale of this and the solutions we talked about. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Last say, 20 seconds go to Lea. Thank you?
>> LEA ROSA HOLTFRETER: Yeah, I mean I absolutely agree with what was said previously and I think like I said in the beginning as well that bringing people from the different sectors together from the governmental sector, from the private sector, and the civil society, I think is absolutely crucial in order to really influence each other and exchange ideas and how to tackle this. And bringing in different panels, different sessions as well really having this in mind when we talk about the issues on the internet nowadays, it's one of the biggest aspects we need to address in every session, in everything that we talk about. As Christopher said, it's the most urgent thing we can talk about right now. Yeah, that sums it up.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for coming to this great session. I hope that next year we will have some more sessions on the climate crisis.
So, my last two cents -- my last two cents for this discussion, this session, just to give you on the way out, maybe it's not enough for everyone, but one acorn is a practical thing we can do -- we can see the tree and we can offer to anyone who have a space to plant. So, just a small gesture and thank you for everyone that participated in this session.
[ Applause ]