Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

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Name: Raoul Plommer
Date: 13 Feb 2023
Affiliation: NPOC, NCSG, GNSO
Other Comments

In Kuala Lumpur, at ICANN75, over half of the people in the public forum session stood up for my plea in supporting ICANN to become carbon neutral. Everybody knows by now, that this should be achieved as soon as possible, for the time is running out on all of us. ICANN can not just feign interest in becoming environmentally responsible anymore. We need to take action!


To keep things simple - just to get the ball rolling - we should start offsetting emissions on the flights that are made on ICANN’s dime to join the live meetings. They are very easily quantifiable and are likely by far the biggest CO2-emissions impact of ICANN.


There are approximately 300 community flights to each ICANN meeting during the year, plus probably about a hundred staff members, including translators and tech support. So we’ll use a rough estimate of 400 people flying to 3 ICANN meetings every year.


$50 is a low estimate per flight on average, to be used for meaningful compensation of the flight’s carbon emissions, or better yet, to minimise them. Many schemes offsetting carbon emissions have proved to be almost entirely ineffective and we need to make sure that this money is used in a way that actually makes a difference.


From these very rough estimates (400*$50*3) we can reach a sum of $60 000 per year, which we should budget for in the upcoming strategic budget plan. At least.


Things are luckily happening with big corporations already on their carbon neutrality and we could learn a lot from them in finding viable ways of offsetting emissions. Especially this union of companies seems like a good model for ICANN to strive towards:


Unilever is known as a leader in environmental sustainability. In 2021, the consumer goods conglomerate — along with Disney, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others — formed the Business Alliance for Scaling Climate Solutions.


They must have found solid ways to minimise their damage on the environment and if ICANN still wants to reap some PR-benefits of its decision to offset its emissions, it should happen in 2023. After that, it won’t really be leading the way. Here’s one list of meaningful ways to reduce these emissions, just to give an idea of the available solutions: https://www.givinggreen.earth/top-climate-change-nonprofit-donations-recommendations


Clear is endorsed by IATA, to calculate carbon emissions and I think ICANN could use that also: https://clear.eco/


We can and should concentrate on the details of achieving our goals after we are committed to ending our negligence and becoming an environmentally responsible organisation.

Summary of Submission

In Kuala Lumpur, at ICANN75, over half of the people in the public forum session stood up for my plea in supporting ICANN to become carbon neutral. Everybody knows by now, that this should be achieved as soon as possible, for the time is running out on us. ICANN can not just feign interest in becoming environmentally responsible anymore. We need to take action!