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To ensure our future is low carbon, as a nation we need to alter our current legacy which is reliance on fossil fuels. An important contribution to getting there is to build a high-speed, ubiquitous broadband network. This will enable flexible working, efficient deployment of field staff and fleets, and video conferencing, all of which will help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Currently, per person, per annum we contribute 28 tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Our challenge as a nation is clear. We have 40 years to reduce this to 3 tonnes per person, per annum. Climate change and global warming are not just environmental issues, but forces that will shape how we will do business. In this paper, I will address how Telstra is using broadband to reduce its own carbon footprint and why broadband will enable our customers and the nation to do the same.
The effects of climate change are not going away. Why? In the past 12 months climate scientists have confirmed our worst fears – early modelling vastly underestimated the impacts. There is now a greater than 60% chance that the world will experience a 2C increase in temperature by mid this century, which will lead to more severe droughts, heatwaves, storm events and sea level rise. But there is one thing we can be 100% sure of. Our future will be carbon-constrained. That also means there will be a cost on carbon.
A colleague from the banking industry told me last month that their courier company has already passed on a fuel surcharge of 15%. Across the bank’s entire operations, courier costs have increased by a million dollars. And this is only one of their suppliers. Businesses and governments must act to reduce their exposure to this crisis.