Allison Kirkby: “The world can accelerate climate action”

“Right now, the world is seeing a systemic shock never experienced before. In parallel with managing the ongoing pandemic, we must all accelerate our efforts to curb global heating,” says Telia Company CEO Allison Kirkby as CEOs of telecom operators around the world urge policymakers, companies and employees to accelerate climate action in the global initiative Race to Zero.

“The telecom industry plays a critical role in our societies. Covid-19 has fast-forwarded us all into the next stage of digitalization. Behavioural change happened overnight. Now we must capture the opportunity of that change to accelerate climate action,” says Allison Kirkby.

Several studies show the importance of digital solutions to tackle climate change. For every ton of CO2 that mobile operators emit, it helps reduce ten tons of CO2 within other sectors through digital products and services (GSMA, 2019, The Enablement Effect). This is why the telco sector is highlighted as a key enabler in the race to zero emissions that needs to happen.

The world needs to cut global CO2 emissions by half by 2030. Telia Company has set even more ambitious goals – we want to be climate-neutral in ten years, not only within its own operations but throughout the value chain. Several important milestones have already been reached this year:

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• From 2020 and onwards we use 100% renewable electricity, no matter where in the world we operate – in the Nordics, Baltics or globally through Telia Carrier
• As the first telecom company in the Nordics, we issued our first green bond focusing on energy efficiency and green digital solutions
• The message to our suppliers is clear: We are in this together. We include CO2 performance in the supplier assessment, making it part of supplier selection
• Environmental impact is included in performance evaluation of the Group Executive Management and the Extended Leadership Team

“Today we all long for our lives to get back to normal but going back will not take us where we want to go. Instead, we need to work together to build back better. Governments and companies alike need to be fully aligned with a 1.5 degree trajectory to ensure that we build a new resilient beginning,” says Allison Kirkby.

Read more about the Race to Zero and telecom operators’ call to action.

Don’t miss the Exponential Roadmap, a research project highlighting 36 solutions that can enable the world to build a stronger, more resilient and future-proof global economy within the planetary boundaries.

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Watch Allison Kirkby’s message on why we need to build back better after the pandemic:

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