Huawei plans to work with Europe to make sure no one gets left behind in the digital and green transition, writes David Li.

Using digital technology to achieve sustainability goals is a challenge facing us. While some argue that placing too much emphasis on sustainability can make countries less competitive, Europe has taken the lead in exploring ways of balancing it with competitiveness and innovation; setting an example for the world.

Europe’s leaders have identified digitalisation and green technology as key elements for the continent’s future. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated her intention to “make this Europe’s Digital Decade”. At the same time, Europe has embraced digital technology as a means of transforming its economies in a sustainable way. The EU aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, having outlined a vision for an economy that is prosperous, competitive and climate neutral.

These goals are supported by blueprints such as the “Digital Compass” in the Commission’s 2020 Work Plan. Like any good compass, it gives clear directions to four cardinal points: digitally skilled citizens; secure and sustainable digital infrastructure; digital transformation of businesses; and digitalisation of public services.

Huawei has been in Europe for 20 years. Our people and operations have given us deep roots here. Over the next 10 years, we will focus on three key areas to help Europe realise its goals for a Digital Decade. First, we will use digitisation to help Europe build a greener society. Huawei is committed to integrating the concept of sustainability into the full lifecycle of our products, and to providing Europe with more environmentally friendly, lower-carbon technology. Take, for example, our green base stations – the mobile phone towers that let consumers and businesses make calls and transmit data over telecom networks. Huawei has worked with operators to set up 4,000 green base stations. Using green ICT, the power used by a single base station can be reduced by 2,400 kilowatt hours per year. This is equivalent reducing 9,500 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year – or planting 12,000 trees.

“Connectivity is a basic right for every European citizen, and Huawei plans to work with Europe to make sure no one gets left behind”

The second area is in bridging the continent’s digital divide. Connectivity is a basic right for every European citizen, and Huawei plans to work with Europe to make sure no one gets left behind. During the Pandemic, Huawei ensured the stable operations of more than 1,500 networks in 170 countries and regions around the world. We have been involved in building 18,000 base stations in areas hit hard by the pandemic. We also helped give 50 million students the high-speed internet connections they needed to engage in remote learning.

The third way Huawei is contributing is by ensuring that Europe has a digitally skilled workforce – one of the cardinal points on the EU’s Digital Compass. Huawei cooperates with universities, NGOs, and independent colleges to train students in digital skills and cultivate future leaders in the digital world. We collaborate with more than 300 colleges and universities worldwide, and train more than 1,000 students every year.

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