The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said it will come up with a plan to lower carbon emissions within three months.
The COAI plans to formulate a detailed and sustainable emission reduction program involving all its member companies, following a meeting with Greenpeace, Business Standard reports.
The issue of Indian operators’ potentially large carbon footprint came to light after Greenpeace called for Bharti Airtel to disclose its carbon emissions level and cease using diesel in its tower operations.
A meeting between Greenpeace and Bharti had failed to bear fruit, as the latter failed to come out with a clear carbon emission roadmap. Instead, Bharti insisted the issue of carbon emissions involved the entire industry and said its actions would hinge on the commitment of other market players.
The COAI has meanwhile played down the role of the telecom industry’s carbon footprint, saying the industry currently contributes less than 1% to India’s total carbon emissions level, and will be responsible for just 1.5% by 2015.
COAI director general Rajan Mathews added the industry’s use of diesel was necessary due to a shortage of grid power and limited availability of alternative energy sources.