Launch event: Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES)


Find the recording of the launch event below and join the community here

Dear Colleagues:
The UN Secretary-General welcomes your engagement at the upcoming launch of the new Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) – hosted by the Office of the UN Tech Envoy and Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, ASG for Policy Coordination & Inter-Agency Affairs.
The event will take place on 31 March from 10:00-11:30 a.m. New York

The CODES initiative is part of the broader follow-up to the Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation. It will be co-championed by UNEP, UNDP, the International Science Council, the German Environment Agency, the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Future Earth, and Sustainability in the Digital Age.
Within the Digital Cooperation Roadmap, the UN Secretary-General recognizes the importance of digital technologies for accelerating environment and climate action: "The recent advances in technology offer ground-breaking opportunities to monitor and protect the environment, as well as overall planetary health. By harnessing them appropriately, the digital revolution can be steered to combat climate change and advance global sustainability, environmental stewardship, and human well-being".
To advance this goal, the CODES co-champions will lead a global multi-stakeholder process and convene a series of events to firmly anchor environmental sustainability needs within the Digital Cooperation Roadmap and catalyse a digital planet for sustainability.
CODES has established an initial set of core objectives that are subject to further refinement based on stakeholder feedback:

  1. Offer a vision and authoritative framing of the environmental sustainability and digitalization nexus. Collect and synthesize existing research, operational experience, and use cases on how digital technologies can accelerate environmental sustainability through a multistakeholder process. Offer a synthesis and authoritative framing of the issue that can become a global reference document and vision statement, looking at both opportunities and risks from digitalizing environmental sustainability.
  2. Establish an acceleration plan for digitalizing environmental sustainability of including immediate priorities and partnerships covering a 2-3 year perspective. The environmental acceleration plan would seek to both define and influence the digital investments, standards, and infrastructure needed to close the digital divide in an environmentally sound manner while also encouraging diverse voices to contribute to innovative and impactful applications. This will include a commitment and monitoring framework to help keep track of the different investments and processes in the space. This would also include catalyzing open innovation and social collaboration in this field by supporting grand challenge competitions and hackathons.
  3. Help unite various environmental sustainability and digitalization tracks under a common framework and federation umbrella to improve coordination, coherence, and impact. There are multiple initiatives underway to address different aspects of environmental sustainability and the digitalization nexus. The action plan will offer a space to unite some of the flagship initiatives in order to improve their coordination, coherence, and impact as well as share lessons learned.
  4. Mobilize the scientific community and prioritize a research agenda. The capacity of the scientific community to mobilize in successfully addressing urgent and clearly-defined objectives through unprecedented sharing of ideas and data, and across the public-private interface has been exemplified by its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A similar sense of urgency should be sought in mobilizing a response to the challenge of the digital sustainability agenda, and in applying the community’s digital toolkits to address outstanding problems as part of a major cross-sectoral effort.

The CODES co-champions welcome all stakeholders to join this initiative and to collaborate in co-designing a digital planet for sustainability. To join the CODES mailing list, click here.


Watch the recording of the launch event!


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