24 June, 2020

ETNO unveils European telecoms contribution to EU Green Deal debate

ETNO has today published its contribution to one of the key policy initiatives of President von der Leyen’s European Commission: the EU Green Deal. The key message of ETNO’s Policy Paper is that high-quality telecom networks and services are not only the basis for digitalising Europe, but also a key catalyst for reaching ambitious climate targets. Europe’s green and digital objectives are not only compatible, but intimately connected: only by scaling up Europe’s action in the field of digitalisation, can we achieve the climate targets.

With this Paper, ETNO puts forward new facts and figures on the action of the telecoms industry to dramatically lower its own footprint, and unveils data on how telecom operations are becoming more and more efficient. Key highlights include data showing that, despite data traffic increasing  by 1,100% between 2010 and 2018, the sectors’ carbon emissions fell by 40%, energy consumption increased by 10% and many telcos are moving aggressively towards renewable energy sources.

ETNO’s Policy Paper proposes a wide-ranging analysis of the link between the EU Green Deal and digital networks and services, including views on New Green Taxonomy, funding for green investment and reflections on process and governance. The key recommendations we formulate are:

  1. Build on the sector’s broad variety of established good practices and expertise in the areas of sustainability, by ensuring that future solutions make the most of market innovation, are effective and are based on a pragmatic and balanced
  2. Support the sectors’ ability to further advance towards carbon neutrality and material efficiency, including by ensuring a comprehensive approach that reflects the responsibilities of all ICT players;
  3. Establish an innovation and investment friendly framework that boosts the enabling potential of telecom infrastructure and services, by accelerating digitalisation of the European economy and society, which in turn will make them both greener and smarter.

The Policy Paper was compiled by the ETNO’s new “EU Green Deal Taskforce”, which gathers key energy, climate and sustainability experts from ETNO’s members, as well as by our “Sustainability and Development” Working Group.

Read our full paper: ETNO Policy Paper on the EU Green Deal

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