Environmental News Archive

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Google Aims to Go Carbon-Neutral by End 2007

US: June 20, 2007
Story by Timothy Gardner

NEW YORK - Google Inc. aims to cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of the year, the Web search leader said on Tuesday .

Google is one of a number of companies, including News Corp., that are attempting to cut all of their emissions of gases scientists link to global warming.
To boost energy efficiency, Google is investing in renewable energy like solar, and will purchase carbon offsets for emissions it cannot reduce directly, the company said on its Web site.

"On their own, carbon offsets are not capable of creating the kinds of fundamental changes to our energy infrastructure that will be necessary to stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels," Google said on its Web site. "But we believe that offsets can offer real, measurable, and additional emissions reductions that allow us to take full responsibility for our footprint today."

European companies invest in carbon offsets through the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. The United States did not ratify Kyoto, but some US companies have begun to offset emissions on a voluntary, unregulated basis.

The company said it would invest in projects like capturing methane, a greenhouse gas with about 20 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide, from animal waste at Mexican and Brazilian farms.

"Our funding makes it possible for anaerobic digesters to be installed, which capture and flare the biogas produced while simultaneously improving local air quality and reducing land and water contamination," Google said.

Nonprofit emissions advisors The Climate Group said they will partner with Google to support its offset plans.

"This is just a start," Google Chairman and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a release issued by The Climate Group. "We are actively looking for more opportunities to help tackle climate change."

Google last week launched a program with semiconductor maker Intel Corp. to introduce more energy-efficient personal computers and server systems.

News Corp. pledged in May to become carbon-neutral by 2010.

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