The telecommunications industry contributes 2.5% of our global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes an enormous amount of electricity each year – over three million megawatt hours to power networks and data centers. Until recently, it has been overwhelmingly powered by fossil fuels – but this is starting to change.
Since our Hang Up on Fossil Fuels campaign launched in 2017, we’ve seen progress in this sector, but there’s still much more needed for the telecoms to reach our campaign goal of 100% clean energy by 2025. T-Mobile and Sprint have both set commitments for 100% renewables but the two largest telecom giants are lagging. Verizon and AT&T have heard Americans’ call for clean energy! But they still haven’t reached 100% …
AT&T uses the most energy of any telecom company. It has made progress with several renewables projects in recent years, which make up an estimated quarter of its total energy use. But it’s the only telecom that does not have a clean energy target or timeline. Verizon has long been the industry laggard. It has finally announced a commitment to reach 50% clean energy by 2025 and has one new wind energy project, but this will only provide an estimated 3-5% of its energy.
We need to see much more progress in this sector to #cleanupwireless! With the harsh impacts of climate change already being felt by communities worldwide, we need aggressive commitments. There’s no time to wait.
We also need greater diversity in the wind and solar sectors. Currently Black Americans and women are underrepresented in the clean energy workforce, and AT&T and Verizon can use the huge clean energy purchases they are making to get the companies they contract with to increase their diversity.
Please join us in urging Verizon and AT&T to make clean energy a high priority in 2021 and to set their sights to 100% renewables.