Apple CEO urges world to adopt stronger climate targets

(Image credit: gizmochina)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has urged governments and industry to adopt more ambitious climate targets next year, saying leaders of countries and companies had a “burden to act”.

Cook stopped short of nominating specific targets in comments made as part of the UN Climate Ambition Summit but did disclose that Apple is now helping 95 of its suppliers switch to renewable energy – an increase from the 70 it had previously disclosed.

Earlier this year, the iPhone manufacturer published a ten-year roadmap outlining plans to reduce emissions by 75% and to develop carbon removal solutions for the remainder of its footprint.

Apple net carbon zero

Apple plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 and already uses clean energy to power its global facilities. The company will also develop low carbon product designs, introduce recycling initiatives, and lower its own electricity needs.

This means that within a decade, every iPhone, iPad or Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact.

Apple’s use of renewable energy, and its reduction on the amount of hazardous chemicals used in manufacturing, has seen it score well in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics. However, it has been criticised for making its devices difficult to repair and therefore reducing their lifespan.

However, a battery replacement programme has gone some way to alleviate these concerns as has a programme which allows independent businesses to register to perform approved iPhone repair jobs. The Apple Independent Repair Provider Program launched in the US last Autumn and is expanding to Europe and Canada.

The UN Summit is being held on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement and ahead of international talks in 2021. Outgoing US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2017 but President-Elect Joe Biden has indicated America will rejoin when he assumes the Oval Office.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.