Parliamentarians urge India government to foster telecom sector’s shift towards renewable energy

Concerned over the increasing usage of the diesel subsidy
by the telecom sector, representatives from across the political spectrum, have
urged the government to take measures to accelerate a shift away from diesel
and to renewable sources and technologies.

These include members of parliament, cutting across party
lines, including members of the standing committees for energy, communication
& information technology and environment & forest.

In their letters to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
the Communication &Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, and through
parliamentary engagement, the politicians have raised the need for
substantially reducing the consumption of diesel by the telecom sector,
especially in their network tower operations.

They have stressed on mandating the public disclosure of
emissions and the establishment of the progressive emission reductions plans
within the ambit of the newly proposed National Telecom Policy.  

In response, while the government has acknowledged the
large-scale exploitation of diesel by sectors such as telecom, it is yet to put
in place effective and appropriate mechanisms to address this concern.

Earlier this year, Greenpeace in its report Dirty
Talking : A case for telecom sector to shift from diesel to renewable”,
highlighted the aggressive exploitation of diesel by the sector, as the second
largest consumer, resulting in a loss of over Rs 2,600 crore to the state
exchequer annually.

It’s been over 3 months since the Bharti Airtel led
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) failed to deliver on its
commitment by coming up with a clear roadmap for the disclosure and progressive
reduction of emissions  by September 2011″ said Mrinmoy Chattaraj, Climate
and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Given their unwillingness to act voluntarily, such a
transition is best delivered through mandatory norms, including policies and
fiscal mechanisms which encourage companies to transit substantively to
renewable sources,” Chattaraj added.

By Team
[email protected]