According to reports, within a month of the release of Greenpeace report “Enabling Clean Talking”, more than 70,000 concerned mobile consumers across India have joined its public campaign to phase out diesel from telecom sector by sending SMS and faxes asking Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, to go clean by making public commitment for implementation of Green Telecom directive issued by Government of India.
“Enabling Clean Talking” outlines the roadmap for complete diesel elimination from the Indian telecom sector by the year 2020 through progressive action of massive renewable energy deployment and enhanced energy efficiency measures in its telecom network infrastructure. The report refers to the green telecom directive issued by Government of India and also provides advanced roadmap for substantial financial saving for the sector by switching to renewable energy.
The report estimates that if the telecom sector aims for complete diesel elimination by the year 2020 across its all network towers, it can save on energy expenditure to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore with net investment benefits of Rs 13,000 crore in the next 8 years. The report is being widely accepted by all stakeholders including the telecom operators.
“There is the writing on the wall: use of diesel is making telecom operation in the country economically unsustainable due to spiralling rise of fuel prices. The shift of the telecom sector towards a sustainable and cleaner source of energy while developing efficient and intelligent network infrastructure could set a precedent for profitable low-carbon business model in the country. The need of the hour is a decisive action from Mr Sunil Mittal, the chairman of the largest telecom operator in the country.” said Mrinmoy Chattaraj, climate and energy campaigner, Greenpeace India.
Recently, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) had announced its intention for deployment of renewable energy technologies in 500 towers on pilot basis. This was a part of its commitment for powering 100,000 towers by the end of 2013 through renewable energy. However, there is little action seen from the telecom sector, led by Bharti Airtel, in disclosing carbon emission for their entire business operation and supporting the initiative for roll out of renewable energy technologies in network towers at significant scale as mandated by green telecom directive. The second deadline for carbon emission disclosure by telecom operators under the directive is fast approaching and there is not much action seen on ground meet this deadline. There is a fear of non-compliance of the directive once again by the telecom operators and therefore, a decisive action from Bharti Airtel and its chairman as demanded by mobile consumers across the country is critical.
Since the launch of the “Switch off Diesel” campaign by Greenpeace in May-2011, cumulatively over 2 lakh people are demanding Bharti Airtel to champion the cause with commitment to:
Disclose the carbon emission of its entire operations including network infrastructure supply chain and set ambitious emission reduction target with objective of complete diesel elimination by the year 2020.
Encourage the tower companies to move away from expensive & dirty diesel to cleaner source of energy and work towards a roadmap for the implementation of green telecom directive by 2020.
Make long term investment plans for the co-development of renewable energy source for the telecom tower infrastructure and lead the low carbon race.
“It is well understood that decoupling the growth from rising carbon emission is paramount for ensuring economic and environmental sustainability. The only concern is, we should not act when it’s too late.” concluded Chattaraj.