Kuwait telco Zain taking lead on Middle East-first mobile industry climate plan

Initiative aimed at net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050



Middle East telecommunications companies aren’t doing enough to promote sustainability and combat the effects of global climate change that they’re contributing to – at least those are a couple reasons why Kuwait-based telco Zain has decided to team up with some of the industry’s leading bodies.

The Kuwaiti operator has teamed up with the GSM Association (the world’s largest telecommunications industry trade body) to develop what it’s calling a “mobile industry climate action roadmap.” The roadmap is thought to be among the first for the mobile industry in the Middle East.

As part of the initiative, Zain and about 50 other mobile operators are disclosing their climate impacts, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions via the Global Disclosure project. Together, Zain and the other mobile operators account for more than two-thirds of all worldwide mobile connections.

The disclosures of emissions and energy use constitutes the first phase of the initiative. The second phase will involve creating “decarbonisation pathways” by February 2020, to reduce the carbon footprints of the mobile operators.

The ultimate goal is for the mobile industry to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which is in line with the Paris Agreement.

Zain group CEO Bader Al Kharafi said: “We recognise that climate change is a material risk that not only impacts humanity today, but also will impact the ability of future generations to thrive. The mobile industry will form the backbone of the future economy and therefore has a unique opportunity to drive change across multiple sectors and in collaboration with our suppliers, investors and customers.”

Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, said the initiative is proof of “how the private sector can show leadership and responsibility in addressing one of the gravest challenges facing our planet.”