Mobile industry facing net zero headwinds - Mobile World Live

Mobile industry facing net zero headwinds

27 JUN 2021

LIVE FROM MWC21 BARCELONA: Experts from across the industry showcased a range of initiatives bolstering operator green credentials, but warned significant barriers hampering efforts to meet carbon neutrality targets remain.

At pre-MWC21 Barcelona event Huawei Day 0 Forum: Green ICT for a Green World, GSMA head of climate action Steven Moore (pictured, left) said meeting net zero targets would be a significant challenge in some countries due to a lack of access to renewable energy and related unfavourable government policies.

He added operators can’t “switch to renewables alone”, urging policymakers to work with the mobile industry to aid efforts. Moore also called on vendors and operators not signed-up to climate goals to join industry initiatives.

Discussing challenges in deployment of green physical infrastructure, Vantage Towers Spain MD Blanca Cena (pictured, centre) noted there was a need for increased innovation to find solutions to energy-sapping problems such as delivering power to masts in rural areas.

While acknowledging the progress rapidly being made in R&D for new green technologies, Cena added “we have to be creative to find different ways to do things that have been done the same way for 25 years,” noting these new approaches also needed to make financial sense.

Mobile World Capital Barcelona head of digital future society think tank Carina Lopes (pictured, right) added “the stakes are really, really high and it’s the responsibility of all of us, the private sector but also the public sector, to make sure the funds are there and tax incentives are there”.

Progress
Elsewhere in the session, representatives from operators Orange Spain and Telefonica highlighted various measures being put in place to cut their respecitve carbon footprints. Examples included initiatives around the use of sustainable power and equipment, supply chain requirements and promotions to encourage device recycling.

Operator industry representatives were joined by those from public service organisations, including the European Parliament, alongside president of hosting company Huawei Western Europe David Li (Peng).

Discussing the importance of the mobile and digitalisation in sustainability efforts, Li reiterated the company’s commitment to European initiatives in this area, adding “together we can build a green Europe and a digital Europe”.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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