Sep 14, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Google's new climate vow

A phone in front of the Google logo

Photo Illustration by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google said Monday that it's aiming to run all its worldwide data centers and corporate campuses on 100% carbon-free power by 2030.

Why it matters: It's the latest of Big Tech's mounting climate pledges and puts a specific timeframe on Google's existing plan for its power-thirsty data centers.

  • Google says it already buys enough renewable power annually to match its total power use.
  • But as we've written about before, that doesn't mean they're never relying on fossil generation for the systems, which they now say will happen by 2030.
  • The move also comes amid activist pressure on tech giants.

What they're saying: CEO Sundar Pichai, in a blog post, said it will involve approaches like pairing wind and solar together, increasing use of battery storage, and using AI to "optimize" power demand and forecasting.

Where it stands: Pichai, as part of several new climate announcements, also said that as of today, "we have eliminated Google’s entire carbon legacy (covering all our operational emissions before we became carbon neutral in 2007) through the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets."

Go deeper: Google pledges to be carbon free as fires engulf California (FT)

Go deeper