Telefonica knocked 20 years off its target to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its four main markets, following better-than-expected progress in its programme to-date.

The operator said a 50 per cent reduction in its global CO2 emissions in 2019 meant it had already achieved a goal originally set for 2025. As a result, it expects to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, far sooner than its initial 2050 target.

COO Angel Vila explained the operator made the moves as part of COP26 Race to Zero, a GSMA-backed UN climate change initiative encouraging companies, nations and financiers to deliver a net zero carbon footprint.

“Digitalisation is essential to decarbonise the economy and is part of the solution. The digital solutions we offer our customers, as well as the greater efficiency of our networks, are helping to reduce emissions”, Vila said.

In 2019, the operator cut CO2 emissions from its global operations by 3.2 million tonnes, and is targeting a 10 million tonne reduction in 2025.