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A matter of degrees

Telstra News

Posted on December 21, 2009

3 min read

What difference could a degree make?

Well, quite a lot actually when it comes to the impacts of global warming on climatic conditions.

A degree might not sound like much.

Consider this. If you travel one degree off course, you’ll be off target by about 18 m for every kilometre you travel. Doesn’t sound too bad. But it adds up over a long journey and enough to get you lost. And in the context of global average (atmospheric) temperature rises, one degree is estimated to be the difference between what the world could accept and what could be catastrophic.

Based on the data I have seen, it is clear to me what the major causes of global warming in relatively recent times are. My thoughts have moved from the debate about whether climate change is really occurring, to how companies will responsibly deal with the challenge of reducing emissions and adapting to extremes of weather.

If all companies carried their share of the burden for reducing emissions, we could help avert the extremes of carbon emission and temperature increases.

Of course we need effective government and inter-government policy as well to enforce and spread the load [fairly] across societies. That is what Copenhagen was supposed to be about.

I was encouraged to see that the Australian PM acknowledges that a national broadband network will help Australia reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.  Further, he is financially supporting mobile solutions for improved health care and emergency warning systems. New technologies often need a boost to ensure they get off to a strong start.

Helping themselves and their customers to adapt to climate change, and making commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is what is expected from the world’s corporations. Small contributions to both climate change adaptation and emissions reduction, in my view, will add up to make a significant contribution.

Even with the outcomes from out of Copenhagen, my take is that responsible companies will get on with the job of cutting their own emissions and helping themselves and their customers to cut theirs, as well as adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Related Blogs & Posts:

Telstra is supporting its customers to get the information they need about extreme weather events and emergencies.  With the bushfire season now underway, telecommunication services are proving critical in helping communities keep up to date with changes in conditions.

Telstra has announced its commitment to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 10% by 2015.

Telstra is supporting businesses to reduce their carbon emissions through provision of high quality video conferencing. See the announcement on one of our lastest deals with a global corporation.

Check out the draft UN analysis of the projected shortfalls in emissions cuts which suggest temperatures could rise an additional degree to what was formerly considered to be the case.

Visit Tony Chan’s Green Telecom site which goes into an in-depth commentary of the recently released “Mobile’s Green Manifesto” which is the most comprehensive industry assessment of the role of telecommunications in combating climate change.