In an interview, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that the company will shift solely to renewable power by 2030. This means that Google's cohort of data centers and offices will ditch coal and oil-based power sources for renewable power. The Menlo Park giant is calling this plan 'Stretch Goal', and Pichai acceded that it's a bold initiative that will require both political and technological breakthroughs to realize:
“The problem is so immense, many of us need to lead the way and show solutions. We’re one small player in this but we can set an example.”
Under the plan, Google would have to relocate some data centers and Pichai was aware of the issues associated with doing so:
“To plan 24/7 hourly being carbon-free in our data centers and campuses around the world, we see an enormous logistics challenge, which is why we’ve been hard at work modeling the last year how to get there. “And we feel confident we can get there by 2030.”
Stretch Goal comes at a time when wildfires are raging in California, showcasing the impact and expanse of climate change. Pichai was aware of this and alluded to the smoke released by the fire that engulfed some parts of California:
“It’s a more visceral reminder of why this is urgent. This generation owes it to the next generation [to address climate change] . . . The time to act is very narrow, and shrinking as we go.”
Google is not the only company contributing to the fight against climate change. Microsoft has pledged to go carbon-negative by 2030, which means that the Redmond giant will cut its carbon emissions by more than half and remove more carbon than it emits each year from the atmosphere by that year. Moreover, last month, the firm announced that its direct operations, products, and packaging will be zero-waste by 2030 as well, making further inroads into its plan to curb the menace of climate change.
Since 2007, Google has been a carbon-neutral firm, and Pichai further added that the company would support everyone with its cloud services, including oil and gas companies to make the shift towards tapping other resources. This would further address the criticism Google faced for continuing business with firms specializing in producing energy with non-renewable sources despite supporting renewable energy.