EU video-conferencing push could be "devastating"

A European minister's call for 20% of business meetings to be replaced by video-conferencing in a bid to cut carbon emissions could have "a devastating impact on the economy", according to the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO).

International Association of Professional Congress Organisers
International Association of Professional Congress Organisers

Switzerland-based IAPCO said in a statement today: "Business trips embrace many aspects, an important one of which is attendance at meetings, conferences and events. By heavily directing the limitation of business travel, and thus attendance at conferences and events, there are serious consequences further down the line.

"The activities of IAPCO members alone represent a global economic impact in excess of £2.7bn worldwide. Add to that all the business activities that are not controlled by IAPCO members and you would be multiplying these figures by at least a hundred. Cutting this could have a devastating impact on the economy."

IAPCO was responding to a recommendation proposed by EU information society commissioner Viviane Reding.

The association has issued the following arguments against the recommendation:

  • Many nations do not have the technical infrastructure to participate in video-conferencing
  • Security problems could arise if sensitive data is discussed online
  • Local economies will suffer if attendance at meetings is restricted
  • Technology can't replace human interface
  • Certain professional programmes require regular educational meetings
  • Conferences and meetings are more inspirational
  • Air traffic is only contributing up to 5% to gas emissions worldwide and all airlines are proposing carbon offset programmes

 

 

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