SDG13: Climate Action
Why it matters
SDG 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. Unless immediate and transformative action is taken across all sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C will be in jeopardy, endangering the lives of over 3 billion individuals. Failing to take action will result in intensifying heatwaves, droughts, floods, wildfires, rising sea levels and devastating famines. Emissions must be cut by almost half by 2030 to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement.
The industry’s contribution
Mobile technology contributes to SDG 13 by increasing connectivity, improving efficiency and effecting changes in behaviour, while mobile network–enabled technologies help avoid emissions. Connected devices in particular form an important part of the decarbonisation solution.
To date, 62 operators representing 61% of the industry by revenue and 46% by connections have committed to a science-based target of rapidly decreasing their direct and indirect emissions by 2030. A considerable portion of operators, representing 39% of mobile connections and 43% of global revenue, have also committed to net zero targets by 2050 or earlier.
Operators in Europe and North America are making the biggest strides on climate action, as they are expanding their energy-efficiency programmes and sharply increasing their use of renewable electricity. In other regions, the picture is mixed; while there are strong ambitions, there are also challenges to reaching targets.
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Maximising mobile’s impact by 2030
In countries all around the world, there is a need for progressive policies from governments to build a regulatory environment that helps operators decarbonise. This includes helping expand renewable electricity access to facilitate private-sector purchases. Governments should also recognise the power of connected digital solutions in helping decarbonise other industries.