Airtel Africa CEO calls for urgent collaboration to tackle climate emergency

Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya

As world leaders gather in Dubai for COP28, Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya has issued a clarion call for urgent collaboration to address the climate crisis, emphasizing the crucial role of African businesses in driving sustainable progress.

In a statement, Ogunsanya underscored the significance of African business leaders' participation at COP28, stating that their contributions are essential in galvanizing action towards concrete climate mitigation measures.

He proudly represented the African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), a collective of CEOs committed to fostering sustainable growth and prosperity across Africa.

Ogunsanya emphasized the importance of a strong public-private partnership to achieve the Paris Agreement goals on the continent, advocating for an enabling policy environment that promotes collaboration between governments and businesses.

He stressed the need to move beyond outdated approaches that rely solely on government decrees or business initiatives in isolation.

Highlighting Airtel Africa's operations across 14 sub-Saharan African markets, Ogunsanya acknowledged the severe impact of climate change on communities across the region.

He affirmed Airtel Africa's unwavering commitment to reducing its carbon footprint across its operations and supply chain, aiming to achieve a 62% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2032 and net zero absolute emissions by 2050.

Ogunsanya elaborated on Airtel Africa's environmental stewardship initiatives, such as 'Project Green', which focuses on circular economy practices and responsible end-of-life equipment disposal.

 He also highlighted the company's involvement in a multi-stakeholder partnership to eliminate open waste burning from Africa by 2040.

Outlining three key strategic imperatives for COP28, Ogunsanya called for Governments to create a regulatory environment that fosters collaborative climate action, establishment of decarbonization targets and projects in areas where Africa can benefit, such as green minerals and climate adaptation programs

Ogunsanya urged governments, regulatory bodies, and development partners to play a pivotal role in facilitating access to climate finance and clean technology.

 He emphasized the critical importance of public-private cooperation in accelerating climate action on the continent.

As COP28 serves as a global stocktake of progress towards the Paris climate goals, Ogunsanya urged African businesses to step up and demonstrate their collective commitment to fulfilling their climate commitments.

He concluded by reiterating Airtel Africa's corporate purpose of 'transforming lives' and called upon others to join the company on this journey.

Ogunsanya's message underscores the urgent need for collaboration and decisive action to address the climate crisis. African businesses, including Airtel Africa, have a critical role to play in driving sustainable solutions and paving the way for a more resilient and environmentally conscious future.