Hong Kong, China — The mobile communications industry has released a list of industry-wide goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.
The goals are presented in the recent Green Manifesto created by the GSM Association, a mobile industry interest group, and the non-profit Climate Group.
Along with laying out the mobile industry's four goals, the Green Manifesto shows how mobile communications can lower emissions in other sectors and industries through dematerialization, improved logistics, fleet management, virtual meetings, teleworking, online media and a range of other efforts. The Manifesto concludes that the mobile industry can lower emissions in other sectors by more than 4.5 times the emissions footprint of the mobile industry.
The manifesto's goals are:
1. Reduce total global greenhouse gas emissions per connection by 40 percent by 2020, compared to 2009. This includes all emissions under the control of mobile industry companies, such as energy use from radio networks, buildings and transportation. Companies are looking into how to use less power at base stations, including using local renewable power to run some stations.
2. Have carbon neutral growth. The mobile industry expects the number of mobile connections to rise by 70 percent, to 8 billion connections, by 2020, but the industry aims to keep its total emissions at 245 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
3. Reduce mobile handset energy use, when the handsets are both in use and in standby, by 40 percent by 2020.
4. Reduce the lifecycle emissions of network equipment components by 40 percent by 2020. Some ways that companies are working to reduce the lifecycle impacts of equipment include a push for universal chargers, handsets made with recycled materials or powered by solar energy, and improving recycling efforts.
The manifesto also offers policy recommendations for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, calling on governments to sign a successor to the Kyoto Protocol; to establish binding, long-term targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions; to implement or continue policies on the country, state and/or regional level; and to establish greenhouse gas cap-and-trade programs that deliver a stable and effective long-term price for carbon.
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