Google made one of Big Tech’s most ambitious environmental commitments: It would work to run its operations fully on renewable energy by 2030. It also announced that to this day, it has purchased enough carbon offsets to essentially cancel all planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions the company has released since it was founded in 1998.
Google has been carbon neutral every year since 2007, meaning it halts emissions generated by investing in renewable energy projects or burning fossil fuels that excrete carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and invest in storage. But relying on offsets doesn’t really turn the company away from fossil fuels. Google only released 4.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, about 1 million passenger vehicles could be excluded in a year.
Google’s new pledge comes as California, home to Google’s headquarters, burns and suffocates on smoke that has been made more destructive by climate change. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a video released today, “We have a permanent cause for our planet by 2030 or face the worst consequences of climate change.” “We are already feeling the effects that are affecting devastating floods in many parts of the world today from historic wildfires in America.”
Once Google’s data centers are fully powered by renewable energy, “this will mean every email you send through Gmail, every question you Google searches, every YouTube video you watch, and Google Every map that uses the map is supplied with clean energy, hours of every day, “Pichai wrote in a blog post today. Google’s new commitment applies to the company’s electricity usage; things like the journey of company employees Will continue to compensate for emissions, Reuters Report.
Last September, Google announced what it called “the largest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history”, which increased the company’s wind and solar agreements by 40 percent. The company said it became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world in 2016.
This will require some technical hurdles to be overcome before Google can fully rely on renewal. When the sun does not shine and the winds stop more and better batteries will be needed to store and supply energy. It also states how AI is used to forecast the company’s electricity demand and become more energy efficient. In the US, the country’s aging energy grid needs to be updated to better accommodate renewable energy. Companies like Google are often limited to relying on the available power mix – which usually includes fossil fuels – wherever they are operating. So Google may need to think about working in healthy renewable energy markets and places with favorable energy policies.
Because it is figuring out how to meet those challenges, Google says its commitment to ending its dependence on fossil fuels could pave the way for other companies to do the same. It believes that its environmental efforts will create 12,000 jobs by 2025.
Google’s new commitment is one of demands made last year by more than 2,000 of its workers, who called for zero carbon emissions by 2030 and joined a global climate strike in September with other tech workers. Workers at Amazon and Microsoft have similarly demanded that their employers be asked to stop releasing greenhouse gases by 2030, but Google is so far the only tech giant to do so. None of the companies have met the additional demands of employees to terminate contracts with fossil fuel companies and to stop funding politicians and lobbyists who reject climate science.
Microsoft announced in January that it would work to remove all carbon pollution from the atmosphere by 2050, a more difficult effort than the milestone reached by Google by offsetting today’s historic carbon emissions. But Google can now claim that its net carbon footprint is zero for its lifetime.