The Connect – Carbon Footprint – Are we doing enough

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As an industry, are we doing enough to tackle and reduce our carbon footprint? As with every industry the focus of Theresa May’s parting statement to commit to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 has brought the discussion to the fore. The commitment which will make the UK the first major economy to do so, will surely sharpen discusses for industries and businesses alike.

Procedures, policies and choices will surely need to be adapted across not only our industry but also reach individuals’ personal lives. Whether that be from choosing to drive an electric car to emerging technology providing electric cranes for use within the industry. Will we choose to leave a better telecoms industry and planet for the next generation?

About 80% of all our energy still comes from fossil fuels—a figure that hasn’t changed since the 1970’s. The atmosphere now has more carbon dioxide than any time in the past 800,000 years. Oil and gas companies continue to be some of the most valuable in the world, and the warning scientists give about climate catastrophe keeps getting more urgent.

But all the signs suggest the scale of the environmental movement has crossed a tipping point, so our industry must keep up.

Government investment and regulations in developing and deploying clean energy have scaled well. In many parts of the world, it is cheaper to build renewable-energy projects than fossil-fuel power plants. Recently, the UK went 55 hours without burning coal, which is something that hasn’t happened since before the Industrial Revolution. Portugal produced more renewable energy in March than what the country consumed in the month.

To top it all, poor countries are investing billions more in renewable energy than rich ones. Even technologies that were considered fanciful, such as carbon capture, are making a comeback. Progress is all around us. We don’t breath the same dirty air or drink the same polluted water that our ancestors did back in the 1960’s. As an industry, are we doing enough in telecoms to leave something better for the net generation?