The campaign that launched 1000 geeks

Feature story - 27 May, 2009
If saving our climate was a game of poker and all the various stakeholders - our heads of state, the energy industry, environmentalists, etc - were players, there would be one player at the table who hasn't yet shown their cards. The hold-out in this particular game is the Information Technology (IT) Industry, a player who is sitting on a lot of chips in a high stakes game, despite holding a winning hand.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets! Sun Microsystems, Intel, Fujitsu, Cisco? Who will be the first to rise to the Cool IT Challenge?

The IT Industry has already boasted about its potential contributions to cutting carbon emissions: more than 15 percent by 2020 - globally. To put that in perspective the emissions cuts needed globally to avoid the worst consequences of climate change are at least 50 percent by 2050, making the IT Industry no small-time player in determining the fate of our climate - better yet, our entire planet.

Why is the IT industry holding back? They stand to gain huge profits, and they can win global love and admiration by developing and offering technology solutions to cutting global emissions.  They ought to be lobbying hard for the tough restrictions that will put their services in demand.

While governments around the world debate climate policies the IT industry is playing its cards close to its chest instead of advocating for science-based greenhouse gas emissions cuts. This is no way to play the game! They should be betting big, not getting ready to fold.

Show us your hand

Nobody likes a hold-out. So, we're talking to you Nokia, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Intel and Fujistu. You too - Sharp, IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba. And don't think you're getting off easy either Microsoft and Sony. It's time for your CEOs to lay their cards on the table. This includes: not only providing IT climate solutions, but also accurate measurements of the positive impact those solutions will have overall. Using your influence to lobby for a deal at the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen at the end of this year, which will increase demand for IT climate solutions by the rest of the economy. Taking steps to reduce your own emissions and increasing your use of renewable energies.

Get on with it! - you say?

Who will push the IT Industry to lay its cards on the table? Greenpeace? Nope. Techies. Techies are the IT Industry's main constituency: they are its employees, customers and fans, and when they collectively demand climate leadership, and greener gadgets, and futuristic, awe-inspiring IT climate solutions from the CEOs of major IT corporations the industry will sit up and take notice. That is why the Cool IT Challenge is running on techie power.

Greenpeace has scored the CEOs of all the major IT corporations mentioned above on their climate leadership and is now inviting techies, as well as activists and concerned citizens, to place their bets on the CEOs most likely to improve their scores. Their performance will be monitored closely in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, as this summit presents an opportunity for the IT Industry to really lay down their cards and use their influence to push for a positive outcome at the climate negotiations taking place there. Greenpeace will regularly reevaluate the CEOs performance, update their scores accordingly and allow Cool IT Challenge bets to be adjusted.

The IT Industry is holding winning cards when it comes to our climate: influence, innovation and potential - tell them to pony up. There is too much at stake for them to fail to rise to this challenge. 

Place your bets!

Join techies, activists and concerned citizens everywhere! Place your bets and your pressure on the IT Industry and demand climate leadership today.

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