Google says it has wiped out its entire carbon footprint by investing in “high-quality carbon offsets”.
It became carbon-neutral in 2007 and says it has compensated for all the carbon created so far.
It aims to run all its data centers and offices on carbon-free energy by 2030, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has announced.
Other large technology companies have also committed to reducing or eliminating their carbon usage.
Mr. Pichai said that Google’s pledge to use only carbon-free energy by 2030 was its “biggest sustainability moon yet”.
“We will do things like pairing wind and solar power sources and increasing our use of battery storage,” he said.
“And we’re working on ways to implement A.I. [artificial intelligence] To optimize our electricity demand and forecast. “
Mr. Pichai said that 12,000 jobs would be created in the next five years.
Greenpeace said that Google was setting up “a new high-bar for the sector” with its ambitions.
Environmentalists have welcomed another eye-catching commitment from a world-leading business to eliminate emissions that harm the planet. It is becoming fashionable.
But all of Google’s historical carbon “debt” claims to be “offset” need to be investigated.
The company tells me that so far it has primarily focused on capturing natural gas, where it is escaping from pig farms and landfill sites. But of course governments should ensure that whatever happens.
Google says it is monitoring the debate about so-called nature-based solutions, including activities such as planting trees to capture CO2. But science is still contested over it.
And any firm that wants to stop its emissions into trees will need to make sure they are never dug, or burnt.