The United Nations communications technology agency has given its stamp of approval to a new energy-efficient one-size-fits-all mobile telephone charger, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced today.
The standardized phone charger will fit all future handsets, regardless of make and model, enabling users worldwide to charge their mobiles anywhere from any available charger, while also reducing the energy consumed while charging, said ITU.
Using the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) will lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of chargers produced, shipped and subsequently discarded as new phone models become available.
The new charger is estimated to cut standby energy consumption by 50 per cent and eliminate 51,000 tons of redundant chargers, resulting in a reduction of 13.6 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions each year.
“This is a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of mobile charging, which also has the benefit of making mobile phone use more straightforward,” said the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Malcolm Johnson.
“Universal chargers are a commonsense solution that I look forward to seeing in other areas,” said Mr. Johnson.
At next month’s UN climate change talks in Barcelona, ITU will underscore the importance of information and communications technology (ICT) role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, citing a recent study that predicts a 15 per cent reduction of total global emissions by 2020 with the more effective use of ICTs currently on the market.
ITU stressed that the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in December 1997, which commits countries which signed to limit emissions to 5 per cent below 1990 levels on average over the five-year period from 2008 to 2012.
But ITU said that the role of ICTs in significantly cutting emissions is not recognized in the current draft text – which will be under negotiation at the talks in Barcelona from 2-6 November ahead of Copenhagen climate change summit in December – for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.