Representatives from the mobile industry, finance and development sectors took to the stage at the Concordia Summit in New York today (24 September) to discuss ways to use mobile tech to tackle climate change and other global challenges.

GSMA director general Mats Granryd (pictured, right) highlighted the mobile industry’s recently announced climate initiative and explained how mobile is also enabling others to do similar, across both the public and private sectors.

“Scale is important and that is best achieved by partnerships, so there’s never been a better time for true public-private-partnerships.”

Orange CEO Stephane Richard (pictured, second from right) added: “Every industry needs to organise and make commitments [to meeting the SDGs], and figure out how to do so collectively.”

Granryd cited several datapoints from the 2019 edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Industry Impact Report, which tracks the industry’s role in contributing to delivery of the SDGs year-on-year. He revealed 1.4 billion people worldwide were now using mobile-based education tools, a rise of 140 million since 2017, and 1.3 billion were also using mobile health services, an increase of 230 million.

Marisa Drew, CEO of Impact Advisory and Finance at Credit Suisse (pictured, second from left), said mobile was “unlocking so much opportunity across the SDGs”, providing examples around agriculture, healthcare and education.

She added the “intersection of finance and tech” was allowing banks such as Credit Suisse to enable investments and increase capital flows into areas of social good.

Elizabeth Yee, MD of climate and resilience operations at The Rockefeller Foundation (pictured, centre), discussed its work in Wellington, New Zealand, where new infrastructure was developed in the aftermath of an earthquake in 2016 to provide protections against further quakes.

The Concordia Summit is held in parallel to the UN General Assembly, which also took place in New York this week.