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Telecom a key to low-carbon future: Ericsson

routerMass deployment of broadband networks can help speed the transition from physical to virtual infrastructure and services on the way to a low-carbon economy, according to Ericsson president and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg.

“We would like to see ICT (information and communications technology) and telecom on the agenda for the global climate negotiations in Copenhagen later this year,” he said.

Svanberg made his comments today upon Ericsson’s release of its annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report. The report finds that the organisation exceeded its targets for cutting energy use in 2008.

“During 2008, our technology has been used around the globe to reduce energy consumption and the corresponding CO2 emissions, demonstrating our firm belief that telecommunications is both an essential part of the equation in solving global climate change and critical to the development of more carbon-lean societies,” Svanberg said. “At the same time, we have shown that our technology has the power to change lives. We have played a crucial role in bringing telecommunications to the poorest of the poor in sub-Saharan Africa, by harnessing the power of telecommunications as a tool for accessing basic services and information and improving people’s lives.”

The company has provided telecom infrastructure, mobile applications and expertise to connect half a million people as part of the Millennium Villages project. Sixty per cent of the villages have now been connected, covering 55 per cent of the Millennium Villages population. Ericsson has similar connectivity initiatives around the world.

Ericsson last year set its first group-level carbon footprint target, aiming for a 40 per cent reduction over five years, and starting with a 10 per cent reduction in 2009.

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