Why this matters

Despite significant progress over the last decade on improving access to electricity, increasing the use of renewable energy in the electricity sectors, and improving energy efficiency, the world is still short of achieving affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Clean and sustainable energy should be at the heart of the COVID-19 response and fight against climate change.

The renewable energy share of total final energy consumption gradually increased from 16.4% in 2010 to 17.1% in 2018. However, the share of modern renewable sources in total final energy consumption increased by only 2.5 percentage points in a decade, remaining below 11% in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a mixed impact on renewable energy development across end-use sectors: global electricity demand declined 2% in 2020 compared to 2019, but renewables use for power generation increased by almost 7% year-on-year.

Content from the UN, read more here.

Our response

We are committed to ensure the greening of all of our activities. We also see a key role for our digital networks and technologies in helping to address climate change. Digitalisation is key to saving energy, using natural resources more efficiently and creating a circular economy.

We have set a target to purchase 100% renewable electricity, across our geographical footprint, by 2025. We brought the target forward to July 2021 for Europe – therefore in Europe, our networks, data centres, retail stores and offices, are now already powered by 100% renewable electricity. We have also set a Science-Based Target to reduce our carbon emissions and we have set a goal to reach net zero across our full carbon footprint by 2040.

In July 2020, we committed to helping our business customers reduce their own carbon emissions by a cumulative total of 350 million tonnes globally over 10 years between 2020 and 2030 – the equivalent to Italy’s total annual carbon emissions for 2019.

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