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UNCTAD Calls for Mitigating Growing Environmental Impact of Digital Economy on Developing Countries

The United Nations Trade and Development Organization (UNCTAD) has warned of the increasing environmental repercussions of the global digital economy and digital technologies, especially on developing countries.

It underlined the necessity of harnessing the power of digitalization to promote comprehensive and sustainable development, while mitigating its negative environmental impacts.

In the “Digital Economy 2024” report issued Wednesday, UNCTAD highlighted the enormous environmental impact of the global digital sector and the disproportionate burden borne by developing countries, but emphasized that these countries have the ability to benefit from digital transformation to promote development.

The United Nations said: that developing countries must maximize the opportunity provided by the high concentration of raw materials used in digital technologies on their territories, through local processing and manufacturing, in light of the current global crises, limited financial space, slow growth, and high de
bt.

It explained that this would help it secure a greater share of the global digital economy, generate government revenues, finance development, overcome dependence on basic commodities, create jobs, and raise living standards.

The report stressed the urgent need to address the environmental costs of rapid digital transformation, as major concerns include the exhaustion of limited raw materials for digital and low-carbon technologies, the escalation of water and energy consumption, and the growing waste problem associated with digitalization.

The UNCTAD called on the international community to implement comprehensive policies that promote the circular digital economy, reduce environmental impacts, and bridge the digital divide, stressing that most developing countries need more digitalization to participate effectively in the global economy, and that immediate and coordinated efforts from governments, industry leaders, and civil society are necessary to achieve sustainable and comprehensive digital develo
pment.

Source: Qatar News Agency