Google has announced a very ambitious plan to become carbon free by 2030. In just 10 years, the giant tech company plans to conduct all its operations with carbon free energy. They also announced that they have canceled out all the carbon dioxide emissions they have released since 1998. How did they do that? The answer is money. Lots of it. They bought enough carbon offsets to cancel out all the greenhouse gas emissions the company has released since 1998.
Since 2007, Google has been carbon neutral, meaning that while it does generate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, it offsets them by investing in renewable energy projects that draws carbon dioxide out to the atmosphere. Google still released 4.9 metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018. That is more than 1 million cars put out in a year.
Google efforts to become more sustainable are admirable. They plan to achieve their goal by using:
- Carbon offsets
- Renewable energy (wind and solar)
- AI (artificial intelligence) to forecast the company’s electricity demand and become more energy efficient
- Nuclear energy-which isn’t renewable because it relies on mining uranium and creates radioactive waste, but does not emit carbon dioxide
There is no perfect or easy solution to end our reliance on fossil fuels, but Google is taking a step in the right direction to run it’s operations in a more sustainable way.