COAI to draft carbon emission reduction program for operators in 3 months


The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) will
come out with its sustainable carbon emission reduction program in three


COAI will also set up realistic time frames for
achievement. This was decided at a meeting between COAI and Greenpeace and
other interested parties.


Detail will include issues of a common approach to
measurement, comparability of results, common definition of terms,
identification of initiatives that have the best promise of effectiveness,
efficiency and scalability and defined milestones for implementation.


In addition, COAI committed within this time frame to
engage a competent third party entity to assist its members with “best
international practices” and provide independent verification of
achievement of programs and milestones. Efforts have already begun with the
adoption of the GSMA program for energy use reduction.  


It is time that serious companies with a serious
intention of reducing carbon emissions, roll up their sleeves and focus their
energies together on the real task at hand, instead of dissipating their
energies on cheap headlines and sound bites played out in the media,” said
Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI.


The use of diesel by the industry isn’t by choice. A
large amount of opex is spent on running the network on diesel annually due to
the shortage of grid supply and limited availability of scalable alternate
energy sources. It may also be appreciated that telecom is the only industry
which is required to be available 24×7, 365 days. The industry in its
self-interest is also aggressively pursuing enhanced use of renewable energy,”
Mathews added.



At a meeting between representatives from Green Peace and
COAI to discuss the question of member companies willingness to provide details
of their carbon emission reduction program immediately, COAI emphasized the
need for COAI and Green Peace to work together to adopt a coordinated and
cooperative action plan for the industry, instead of taking an adversarial
approach, as both organizations had the same objective of reducing carbon
emissions in India.


COAI pointed out that the Cellular industry contributed
less than 1 percent to total carbon emissions in India now and that this was
projected to grow to 1.5 percent by the year 2015.


Given this small footprint, COAI wondered whether the
targeting of individual mobile companies by Green Peace was a case of misplaced
zeal! COAI believes that if Green Peace India is serious about reducing carbon
emissions in India, then perhaps their efforts ought also to be focused on
motivating and joining together industries that have a disproportionate impact
on carbon emissions rather than an industry that is already at the forefront of
implementing significant programs to reduce its carbon emissions.


COAI highlighted the real issue as one of obtaining grid
power and efforts ought to be focused on generating this at the earliest. The
real business of mobile companies is providing communication services and is
not power generation. This is the purview of power companies and the government
and they remain in the best position to provide credible sources of alternative
power generation for use by mobile operators. 


COAI, at the meeting, emphasized that a sustained and
effective program for carbon emission reduction was a complex matter and
required the participation of all its member companies working together,
especially the tower companies that managed their cell sites, towers and
network infrastructure. Individual efforts by member companies would often
result in poor economies of scale and at worst, wasted investments and efforts
in untried and unproven alternatives.


By Team
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