Telia and other companies urge G20 leaders to strengthen their climate commitments

32 days before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Telia Company is among 600+ companies that have set goals aligned with climate science calling on G20 Leaders to step up effort to match the urgency of the climate crisis.

Current commitments of governments around the world fall short of what is needed to limit global warming to maximum 1.5 degrees. Therefore, the We Mean Business coalition of companies releases an open letter today urging G20 leaders to sharpen their promises and commit to at least halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions no later than 2050. 

“Climate change is intensifying, and the devastating impacts are noticed in all regions of the world. There is no time to lose. Governments need to increase their ambitions and deliver policy measures that match the urgency of the situation. The G20 countries represents almost 80 percent of global trade and greenhouse gas emissions. That means that they have a huge responsibility and a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership”, says Sara Nordbrand, Head of Group Sustainability. 

Telia Company aims to achieve a climate-neutral value chain and zero waste from its operations by 2030. The company’s more detailed science-based targets means that it will, by 2025, halve emissions from own operations, reduce emissions related to use of sold and leased products by 29%, and have 72% of suppliers by emissions set science-based targets. In addition to that, Telia provides products and services that enable other sectors and society as a whole to significantly reduce emissions.

Since 2018, Telia Company has decreased its own emissions by 78% by shifting to renewable electricity as the only source when powering its networks. Action on climate is an important criterion in procurement; by the end of 2020 suppliers representing 16% of the company’s supply chain emissions had set science-based targets. Telia’s IoT and remote meeting services led to emissions reductions in other sectors of almost 500,000 tons of CO2, equivalent of over 3.5 million return trips by air between Stockholm and Helsinki.

Telia Company acknowledges the need for accelerated action, its own and that of others. The right and harmonized policy decisions taken today can drive further investments and spur business decisions in favor of climate solutions across G20 countries, in Europe and beyond in global supply chains. The G20 Leaders’ Summit in October will be a crucial political moment for leading economies to signal their climate commitment. This in turn would increase the likelihood of a successful outcome at the COP26 in Glasgow, starting on November 1.

The letter from businesses highlights a number of crucial policy measures, such as putting a meaningful price on carbon, as well as quicker uptake of renewable energy, clean technologies and electrification.

Telia Company will step up its climate advocacy in the coming weeks, including with the presence of its President and CEO Allison Kirkby in Glasgow during the COP26 event.

Additional resources:

For more info on Telia Company’s environmental goals and achievements

For more info on G20 open letter

For more info on COP26