Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in 2020 and power its worldwide operations solely with renewable energy by the end of that year, the company said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Data centers for major tech companies suck up lots of power — those operations accounted for the vast bulk of Facebook's 2.46 million megawatt-hours of electricity use last year.

  • That's enough to power over 228,000 average American homes, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation using Energy Information Administration data on average residential power use.
  • Facebook, according to its website, was responsible for 979,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, and roughly two-thirds came from powering data centers.

The big picture: Tuesday's announcement is the tech giant's first greenhouse gas target. And it expands on a prior pledge of getting 50% of its power from renewables, which the company says it reached last year.

  • It highlights the growing role of corporate procurement in driving expansion of wind and solar power, and tech industry giants are playing a major role. Renewable purchasing deals are at record levels this year.

More broadly, Apple announced in April that all its worldwide operations are now powered by renewables, the same month that Google said it met 100% of its worldwide power needs with renewables for the first time last year.

How it works: Facebook said it will use a variety of contracting methods, such as renewable energy tariffs and direct power purchase agreements, to meet its renewables target.

  • "All of the projects are additional and new. In other words, these projects would not be happening without the long-term financial commitment that Facebook has undertaken," spokeswoman Melanie Roe said.
  • In one case, the company announced a deal with Pacific Power last month to build 437 megawatts worth of solar projects to supply an Oregon data center.

Go deeper: The corporate renewables surge.

Go deeper

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.