Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke believes that renewable energy is too slow in many developing countries, and hopes that the United States can take a leading role. – It is important for us to talk to the USA and John Kerry about this, says Brekke.
In November, the important climate summit COP26 will be held in Glasgow, where politicians and other actors will agree on how the world can reach the 1.5-degree goal in the Paris Agreement.
A key theme will be the climate financing of 100 billion kroner, which rich countries have promised to poor countries. This has not had the last few years, but in 2018 it was still below target, according to OECD.
Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke was involved in discussing financing in a meeting with US climate envoy John Kerry in Geneva on Wednesday, together with executives from the Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, the Indian conglomerate Dalmia Bharat, BCG and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche.
The meeting was held at the World Economic Forum, where former Foreign Minister Børge Brende is president. Brende was also present at the meeting.
– Kerry was in the World Economic Forum, and they had bought me and some other CEOs to hear what agenda he has as Joe Biden’s climate envoy, Brekke says to E24.
– He also recommends listening to our views. I was also a board member of the telecom industry association GSMA, and talked about the industry’s wishes and how our members can cut emissions, says Brekke.
Telecom companies such as Telenor Advertisement, like other industries, may become climate neutral in the long run. It is demanding for companies with many customers in coal-fired developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Base stations and other equipment must have stable access to power.
– This applies to the entire mobile industry, which is present in all countries of the world. Should we become carbon neutral, then we need renewable power, and more stable power. We are present in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where the power is very unstable, so we have to use expensive and polluted diesel generators, says Brekke.
Wants collaboration on renewable energy
In addition, electricity is often produced with coal, and not renewable energy. Brekke hopes that Kerry and the USA can help find solutions that can ensure greater access to renewable energy in countries where financing can often be demanding.
– We are discussing how we can work together to ensure renewable energy establishments in these countries, says Brekke.
“We want us to be able to buy electricity on 10-15 year long contracts, and for the World Economic Forum and global governments to work to improve the framework conditions and regulations in these countries so that this becomes possible,” he says.
He points to several challenges for the telecom industry. He wants to bring together electricity consumers in different industries so that there is security for demand and that the authorities must be facilitated through regulations to create security for those who have to develop renewable energy.
– The regulations in the energy sector in many of these countries are old-fashioned, and not teams for the production of renewable energy, but rather coal power and other old forms of energy, says Brekke.
– In addition, we as a user do not have the power to get together. If e.g. The mobile industry and other industries can come together and secure volumes on electricity demand, then we can create and security to produce one that it will be stable demand, he says.
No financing in place
Already in Copenhagen in 2009, it became possible to mobilize 100 billion dollars annually in climate financing from rich to poor countries in the period 2020-2025. In 2019, it was given around $ 79 billion, according to the Swedish government.
This week, Sweden’s Minister of the Environment and Climate, Per Bolund a fortune to COP26 on climate finance in Milan. Among other things, he will facilitate the discussions on commitments after 2025, according to one Announcement.
– In general, it is still too small for us to be able to achieve the climate goals, says Brekke.
The Biden government and special envoy John Kerry have made it clear that climate finance must be in place. The Telenor CEO hopes that the USA will take a leadership role in this work, and press on.
– That is why it is important for us to talk to the USA and John Kerry about this, says Brekke.
– We are positive that they can take a leading role and help bring other countries to the necessary changes, he says.
– Going too slow
Telenor has a goal of being carbon neutral in the Nordic region by 2030. It does not think that Brekke will be that difficult, but it is in many other places.
– We must halve emissions in Asia by 2030, and this is a challenge. We can do something ourselves, but we also want to do something with the subcontractors. Then we are talking about tens of thousands in total, he says.
– Is renewable development in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh too slow?
– Yes, it’s too slow. We must accelerate development, and then we need a «call to action» among industry actors. Those who demand power must come together, and we must get image quality on the team. Then it is possible to do something about this, says the Telenor boss.
– Will the COP26 climate summit be able to ensure the changes you want?
– I can not say. But we have the last to the years where we discuss from being one of many talking points on the political agenda so that we can become concrete as we CEOs talk about. There has been a great development, he says.