Green Manifesto Gives Mobile Industry Green Goals

The GSMA, with The Climate Group, released a Green Manifesto, suggesting industry-wide changes to help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Contributing to its launch, at the Mobile Asia Congress event, were executives from China Mobile and Huawei.

From the Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong, the GSM Association (GSMA), in collaboration with The Climate Group, introduced a Green Manifesto, a document outlining goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, as well as steps that mobile communications companies can take to lower emissions in other sectors.

"With the right public policies in place, the mobile industry can make a major contribution in the fight against global warming, lowering emissions in other sectors by more than 4.5 times mobile's own footprint, which is the equivalent of taking one in every three cars off the road," Rob Conway, the CEO of GSMA, said in a Nov. 18 statement.

GSMA represents 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as 200-plus companies in the mobile ecosystem, spanning 219 countries. The Climate Group is a not-for-profit organization that works with government and business leaders to advance policies that advance a low-carbon economy. Also at the Manifesto's launch were Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile; Kevin Tao, CEO of Huawei; and Changhua Wu, greater China director of The Climate Group.

A proposed purpose of the Manifesto, which has four central goals, is to offer policy recommendations to the delegates and politicians who will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, on Dec. 7-18.

The first goal of the Manifesto is to, by 2020, reduce total global greenhouse gas emissions per connection by 40 percent, compared to 2009 numbers. The second aims to bring the mobile industry to carbon-neutral growth; while the number of mobile connections is expected to rise by 70 percent by 2020, the industry goal is to remain at a total emissions level of 245 megatons of carbon dioxide per year.

The third goal of the Manifesto is to work with handset vendors to reduce mobile handset energy use, both when in use and in standby modes, by 40 percent, and the fourth is to ensure that the lifecycle emissions of network equipment components are also reduced by 40 percent by 2020.

"Wasting energy is just that - a waste," said Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, in a joint statement with GSMA.

"Mobile technologies are at the forefront of a new energy information revolution and have a major role to play in helping individuals and businesses cut their emissions and save money by making it easier to monitor and manage energy use," he added. "Using our phones to cut energy in our homes and offices, from electric cars and solar panels, to washing machines, fridges and TVs is not rocket science and could become as commonplace and simple as sending a text."

The Green Manifesto additionally calls on governments to sign a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, to establishing long-term targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and for policies to be implemented on the country, state and regional level.

"As the findings from our Asian Observatory research show, over the next five years an additional 1 billion connections are expected to be added as the Asia Pacific market is projected to exceed 3 billion connections in 2010," said GSMA's Conway.

"It therefore seems pertinent to launch the Green Manifesto in the Asia Pacific region, the world's largest mobile market - which has the potential to make such a huge and positive impact in terms of the green goal that we are striving to achieve."