MTN has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 amid global momentum to meet the Paris Agreement’s limit. Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo
MTN has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 amid global momentum to meet the Paris Agreement’s limit. Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

MTN commits to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Feb 16, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - MTN, AFRICA’S biggest mobile provider, has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2040 amid global momentum to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

MTN said yesterday that it had set science-based targets to achieve a 47 percent average reduction in absolute emissions for scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2040.

Group president and chief executive, Ralph Mupita, said MTN had a role to play in Africa and the Middle East to contribute meaningfully on much-needed actions to mitigate the impact of climate change.

“That’s why we are committed to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than the end of 2040,” said Mupita.

Mupita said MTN recognised that it needed to run and operate its business with sustainability at the core.

“We must keep addressing the needs and challenges of society, which include playing our part in mitigating the effects of climate change,” Mupita said.

To enable business sustainability via greater energy efficiencies, low carbon emissions, risk reduction and cost control, MTN said it had launched its Project Zero programme.

MTN Group chief technology and information systems officer, Charles Molapisi, said the programme prioritised renewable solutions, efficient emerging technologies and energy storage.

“We believe ICT companies and mobile operators have the potential to significantly contribute to global decarbonisation efforts. We are pleased that Project Zero is in full swing, actively driving energy efficiency and carbon emission sustainability,” Molapisi said.

MTN said the GHG emission-reduction target-setting was in support of the Paris Agreement’s central aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change. The target was in line with an ICT sectoral target-setting approach recently developed through a collaboration between the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, the GSM Association (GSMA), the International Telecommunication Union and the Science Based Targets Initiative.

GSMA supports the science position on climate change realities and emissions limits set by the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

MTN is a member of the GSMA’s Climate Action Taskforce driving the mobile industry-wide plan to back the race to net-zero. “The aim is to ensure a resilient, zero-carbon future that leaves no one behind,” said MTN.

In August last year the National Business Initiative launched the Just Transition Pathways Project. It found that South Africa’s case for implementing carbon neutrality, or even a 2°C mitigation path, was challenging. It said the country entered the Covid-19 crisis in recession with severe debt, unemployment and low growth.

While the short-term recovery focus is certainly on saving lives, the medium- to long-term necessity is saving both livelihoods and the economy.

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