What is Green e-Government ?
What is Green e-Government ?
  • Cho Sung-kap
  • 승인 2009.11.02 10:54
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Dr. Cho Sung-kap, a research professor at the Graduate School of Information Management and Security of Korea University

Since Aug. 15 when President Lee Myung-bak declared an era of green - an era of low carbon and green growth - green growth policy has been adopted as the nation's first priority.

Although Korea was developed into the world's 13th economic superpower, it is the world's 10th greenhouse gas emission country. Over the past years, the state information has been propelled to tide over the limit of industrial society and realize information society.

At a time when IT was introduced, people expected IT to solve environmental problem, a chronic problem of industrial society. E-settlement using computer saved paper use partially, but use of paper by the whole society increased resultantly.

People thought that Internet would reduce communication hours, making people more comfortably. But, a paradoxical phenomenon occurred, making people becoming busier, causing environmental problem. As everybody knows, Korea is a globally-recognized IT powerhouse. However, it is still weak in terms of IT policy plan or power of execution to cope with an era of low carbon and green growth.

Under recognition of such situation, I'd like to look into a role of IT to solve problems of climate change, major contents for propulsion and tasks in this paper. To this end, we need to look into what is the most important and which policy should be propelled first in carrying out green e-government.

Countries in the world and international organizations, including OECD, are recognizing strategic importance of Green IT and developing and actively propelling Green IT policies from the dimension of state.

Recently, they carry out policies centering on narrowly defined Green IT that means energy saving in the IT sector and activity to reduce emission of CO2.

In the meantime, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) placed under the U.N. launched its study on Green IT in earnest since it announced a report on "ITU and Climate Change" in 2007.

ITU is studying ways to save energy in the communication arena, including broadband and mobile communication. It stresses importance of standardization of IT equipment and machines as a means of reducing electric power consumption and slashing CO2 by enhancing energy efficiency.

Efforts for Green IT are appearing concretely as environment-friendly activity using IT is being activated. Smart greed is a representative policy case. Application of Green IT also appeared in Building Energy Information System (BEIS) and Building Energy Management System (BEMS).

However, e-government's countermeasure is still insufficient from the viewpoint of green growth. As a result, policy plan and practice suitable for characteristics of green growth strategy are necessary.

Since the state computer network project in 1987, efforts to build e-government have been made, including propulsion of top 11 tasks of e-government to build pan-governmental e-government core foundation and service and the propulsion of top 31 tasks of e-government road map.

As a result, Korea attained globally-recognized results, including 6th in the U.N. e-government appraisal and 1st for the three consecutive years in the U.S. Brown University's e-government appraisal, reaching a top-class level.

Based on this, it plans to push for an across-the-board online of all civil affairs-related businesses for reform of administration system suitable for global system, while contributing to expanding foundation for low carbon and green growth. (Ministry of Public Administration and Security, 2009)

Although integration efforts have been made in the course of progress of e-government, it has not yet reached an integration level of hardware and software. Rather, an increase in use of IT equipment following a surge in introduction of equipment in the wake of propulsion of information project by ministry is bring about new problem.

For instance, in case of newly introduced server, it requires too much electric power consumption so that a phenomenon of shortage of power supply quantity occurs. Practice efforts are appearing centering on integrated computer center, the heart of government information sources.

Meanwhile, 39 central governments build and operate some 500 Web sites at present. The number of Web sites reaches more than 5,000 in case of including provincial government's Web sites. From the viewpoint of efficiency, necessity of integration is raising.

Basic plan should be made from the dimension of state. Practice plan by planned department unit is also important. Of course, necessity of fact-finding on Web sites for establishment of basic plan is raised. As recognition of Green e-government has not yet spread, a fact-finding survey on IT grasped from the conception of Green e-government does not exist.

There is no materials on concrete status about possibility of IT's destruction of environment and electric power requirement. If a propulsion team is established in a public institution placed under the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, which plays a role of control tower for propelling informatization, costs necessary for Web sites could be minimized. Such institution should carry out fact-finding survey and establish basic plan.

Green IT and Green e-government are different from existing IT or e-government. Existing IT focused on spread and development of IT. Now, however, the focus should be placed on propelling state informatization from the perfect and high-developed viewpoint and fostering it as an export strategic industry. As characteristics of informatization could be pointed out as compressive informatization, it should be converted to informatization focusing on future-oriented creative development by tiding over quantitative diffusion.

Over the past years, people experienced how convenient informatization is. At the same time, however, many people in fact doubt over the way we are going to through informatization. At the present stage, PR strategy needs to be differentiated in the course of propelling the campaign by dividing groups into public institutions and private enterprises according to recognition level and degree of practice of Green IT.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security should work out state-level guidelines on propulsion team, private organizations and households according to characteristics and carry out state-level campaign, as well as publish a white paper on it.

For instance, nationwide campaign for people should be carried out through implementation of Green IT education on those in charge of informatization, offering of information on Green IT policy and trend of new technology, spread of best cases of Green IT introduction to public and private sectors both at home and abroad, and implementation of campaign for people. By doing so, we can attain actual effects of the Green IT plan.

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