Tuesday, 05 August 2008
UK Environment Minister Attends Climate Change Summit In Sydney At 8.30am - And Is Back By Lunchtime
The UK Minister of State for the Environment, the Hon Phil Woolas MP, experienced time travel today as he delivered his keynote speech at the 2nd Annual Climate Change Summit in Sydney, Australia without leaving London. Appearing live in Sydney using telepresence technology, Mr Woolas saved an estimated 60 hours of travel time and 6.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions on his air flight alone.
Mr Woolas shared examples of UK environmental best practice with a live audience of around 150 international public and private sector executives at the summit using high definition telepresence - enabled through the collaboration of managed network and hosting company Easynet; Polycom, the global leader in telepresence, video and voice communications solutions; and Australian-based service provider, Telstra.
The Minister's portfolio sits within UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which aims to enable citizens and businesses to live within their environmental means. His responsibilities cover climate change, energy and sustainable development, making him perfectly positioned as keynote speaker at the event.
"Telepresence does more than improve communications and productivity, it is also increasingly viewed as a critical green technology," commented Steve Leyland, Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Polycom. "The Hon Phil Woolas and the attendees experienced all these benefits first hand thanks to telepresence facilitating a keynote speech which otherwise might not have happened."
David Rowe, Easynet's CEO, said: "The time has come for businesses to take responsibility and change the way they work: there is now a real alternative to hopping on a plane thousands of miles away for a meeting. Telepresence is a fantastic replacement, as Mr Woolas experienced, without the environmental impact of worldwide travel. We're delighted he, and the attendees at the Climate Change Summit, have now seen this for themselves."
The Minister was in expert hands with the three technology providers facilitating his keynote speech: Polycom, Easynet and Telstra. The session took place at Easynet's telepresence suite in central London, and was facilitated with support from the 24/7 concierge service at Easynet's new Video Network Operations Centre (VNOC); Polycom's telepresence solutions at both end points in London and Sydney; and Telstra, which ensured the secure network and bandwidth was available at the event in Australia.