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Facebook today vowed to cut greenhouse emissions and buy enough clean energy and offsets to cancel out carbon dioxide emissions from its global operations this year. Facebook is, however, still pumping out greenhouse gases.

Facebook is setting a more ambitious target for 2030

The company’s recent commitment to “net-zero” carbon emissions puts it on track to offset its global power consumption and planet-heating pollution by investing in renewable energy programs and initiatives to capture and store carbon dioxide. The social media giant also sets a more ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 for its supply chain, employee commuting and business travel.

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That puts Facebook among the pack when it comes to Big Tech’s climate commitments. Similarly, Netflix is investing in renewable energy to offset the use of electricity but has not set ambitious targets to zero out emissions in the future. Apple is aiming to bring its emissions down to net-zero by 2030, and Amazon by 2040. In comparison, since 2007 Google has been cancelling offset carbon emissions and revealed yesterday that it plans to become the first big corporation to fuel its operations with carbon-free energy by 2030 rather than rely on purchasing carbon credits and offsets.

Since 2017, Facebook’s CO2 output has dropped every year — and it is doubtful that the company can pump out as much greenhouse gas emissions as companies that make electronics or hardware. According to its sustainability report, Facebook’s data centres and offices generated about 251,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases last year compared to 616,000 in 2017. It also has a smaller carbon footprint than Google, which emitted 4.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018 from its activities.

Facebook launches its “Climate Science Information Center”

The company also launched a “Climate Science Information Center” which is available to users starting today in the USA, Germany, the UK, and France. It plans to bring more countries into the information center in the future. The information center looks very much like the one Facebook introduced in March that appeared at the top of the News Feed. It will provide information from credible sources such as the group of climate scientists from the United Nations, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Facebook launches "climate information centre"
Pic Credit: Facebook

The new climate promises from Facebook come as fires break records across the US West Coast and choke Silicon Valley with smoke. Joe Biden and the governors of California, Washington and Oregon have pointed out that climate change has made wildfires more destructive — blazes are much greater than in the past, and fire seasons are getting longer.

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