T-Mobile this week announced its historic commitment to move to 100% clean energy by 2021 and a new effort to partner with Green America to pressure other telecom giants to “clean up their acts.” Following T-Mobile’s major announcement, AT&T broke some clean-energy news of its own.
Since 2017, Green America has called on AT&T and Verizon to move to 100% renewable energy. The “Hang Up on Fossil Fuels” campaign focuses attention on the enormous amount of energy used by the telecom sector, the vast majority of it coming from fossil fuels. To date, the campaign has generated tens of thousands of messages from concerned consumers to each company.
T-Mobile’s commitment made it the first telecom company in the U.S. to adopt the RE100 pledge and the first of the big four telecom companies in the country to set a meaningful clean energy goal. Both AT&T and Verizon source less than 2% of their electricity from renewable energy to power their massive servers and networks. The telecom sector in the U.S. uses as much energy as 3 million households.
“We welcome this forthcoming clean energy announcement from AT&T, following T-Mobile’s groundbreaking commitment,” said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of consumer and corporate engagement at Green America. “In an industry where there has been a lack of leadership on this issue, T-Mobile set the bar high, which is exactly where it should be to reduce telecom’s massive influence on the climate through energy usage. We are pleased that AT&T is listening to the thousands of consumers who have encouraged the company to pursue clean energy and to join the other 123 RE100 companies who have made the ‘100% renewable’ pledge.”
“We are eager to learn the extent of AT&T’s new goals, and we will continue to pressure Verizon for a major clean energy commitment to drive a positive shift in the sector,” said Beth Porter, program director for Green America. “Cleaning up the wireless industry’s reliance on fossil fuels is a priority for people and the planet, and we see this initiative gaining momentum with customers, with thousands taking the time this week to urge AT&T and Verizon to adopt renewable energy.”
In February Green America will issue a major new report on the telecommunications industry titled “Clean Energy is Calling,” which will track the progress of the four largest companies in the sector – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile – in adopting clean energy, energy efficiency measures, and reducing their overall greenhouse gas emissions.
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