Public Debate on Green Communications

Leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, TD, chaired a public debate, “There is no such thing as Green Communications”, at the Science Gallery as part of the 4th International Workshop on Green Wireless Networks (Next-GWIN), hosted by CONNECT, at Trinity College Dublin.

Speaking in favour of the motion were Professor Linda Doyle, Professor of Engineering and the Arts and Director of the CONNECT Centre at Trinity College and Professor Lajos Hanzo, Chair of Telecommunications at the University of Southampton. Professor Sofie Pollin, Assistant Professor at KU Leuven in Belgium and Dr Brendan Jennings, CONNECT Funded Investigator at TSSG in Waterford Institute of Technology, took the opposite view.

“At the heart of this debate was the observation that not every communications system which calls itself energy efficient is environmentally friendly,” said workshop host, Professor Luiz DaSilva, Professor of Telecommunications at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Trinity. “The debate proposition was a bit of a provocation, challenging the idea of ‘green’ in the context of the telecommunications industry and whether it represents a genuine ecological effort.”

“We would like to see the communications industry take a much broader view of Green possibilities,” Professor DaSilva added. “In the ICT world Green is typically associated with energy consumption issues. What would green communications look like if more attention were given to issues such as the use of raw materials in the stages of production and the accumulation of electronic waste as a result of consumer activity?

“The debate brought together leading experts from across the ICT field to open up these issues. Hopefully, we have started a conversation that will lead to different pathways for future research in the area.”

CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.