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Google has announced one of tech’s biggest green commitments to date

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Google has just made one of Big Tech’s most ambitious environmental commitments: it will strive to run its operations solely on renewable energy by 2030. It also announced that starting today, he bought enough carbon offsets to essentially cancel out all of the carbon that is heating the planet. the carbon dioxide emissions emitted by the company since its creation in 1998.

Google has been carbon neutral every year since 2007, which means that it offsets the emissions generated by the combustion of fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy projects or other initiatives that extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. to storage. But relying on offsets doesn’t really distract the business from fossil fuels. Google released 4.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018 alone, roughly the amount that more than a million passenger vehicles could take out in a year.

Google’s new pledge comes as California, home to Google’s corporate headquarters, continues to burn and choke on smoke from the fires. more devastating by climate change. We have until 2030 to chart a lasting cause for our planet or face the worst consequences of climate change, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a video released today. We are already feeling the effects of historic wildfires in the United States to the devastating flooding in many parts of the world today.

Once Googles data centers are fully powered by renewable energy, that means every email you send through Gmail, every Google search question you ask, every YouTube video you watch and every route you get. borrow using Google Maps, is powered by clean energy every hour. of each day, Pichai wrote in a blog post today. Googles’ new commitment applies to the company’s electricity consumption; the company will continue to offset emissions for things like employee travel, Reuters reports.

Last September, Google announced what it said was the biggest renewable energy company buy in history, which boosted the company’s wind and solar deals by 40%. The company said it has become the world’s largest renewable energy buyer in 2016.

Before it can fully rely on renewables, Google will need to overcome some technological hurdles. It will need more and better batteries to store and deliver power when the sun is not shining and the winds stop. It also shows how to use AI to forecast business electricity demand and become more energy efficient. In the United States, the country’s aging energy grid also needs to be updated to better accommodate renewables. Companies like Google are often limited to relying on the available energy mix, which typically includes fossil fuels wherever they operate. Google may need to think about working in places with healthy renewable energy markets and supportive energy policies.

Because it seeks to address these challenges, Google says its commitment to ending its dependence on fossil fuels could pave the way for other companies to do the same. He estimates that his environmental efforts will create 12,000 jobs by 2025.

Googles’ new pledge responds to one of the demands made by more than 2,000 of its workers last year, who called for zero carbon emissions by 2030 and joined a global climate strike with others. tech workers in September. Workers at Amazon and Microsoft have made similar demands asking their employers to stop releasing greenhouse gases by 2030, but Google is so far the only tech giant to commit to do it. None of the companies responded to further demands from employees to end contracts with fossil fuel companies and stop funding politicians and lobbyists who deny climate science.

Microsoft announced in January that it would work to eliminate all carbon pollution ever released from the atmosphere by 2050, which is a more difficult undertaking than the milestone Google reached today by offsetting all of its historical carbon emissions. But Google can now boast that its net carbon footprint for its lifetime is zero.

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