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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

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Breaking down the scale of Capitol Hill's climate and energy deal

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The COVID-19 relief and spending deal is Capitol Hill's "most significant action on climate and energy in over a decade," according to analysis from the Rhodium Group, an emissions research firm.

Why it matters: The package now heading for President Trump's signature would phase down a potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioning and refrigeration.

44 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.