Supporting a greener future in Europe

This week, Google
announced
that we’ve eliminated our entire carbon legacy
since the company was founded, as well as our most ambitious
sustainability goal yet—we aim to operate on 24/7 carbon-free
energy in all our data centres and campuses worldwide by 2030.�

That means that every email you send through Gmail, every
question you ask Google Search and every YouTube video you watch is
already carbon neutral. In the future, our services will be
supplied only by carbon-free energy every hour of every
day.

Here in Europe, the European Commission has set its sights on
another ambitious goal with the European Green deal: to make Europe
the world’s first carbon-neutral
continent
, reduce emissions, drive clean growth and create
green jobs. 

We applaud this vision. Dating back to the first
energy-efficient data centre we built in
Belgium
in 2007, we’ve made many investments to support
Europe’s leadership in clean energy and climate policy. Today, at
the GreenTech
festival in Berlin, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared how we will
support Europe’s green vision further, in three main ways:

  • We’ll drive billions of euros in investment and thousands of
    new green jobs in Europe
  • We’ll help European business and partners increase energy
    efficiency through AI
  • We’ll boost innovation in cities and support European
    nonprofits with a €10 million Google.org
    Impact Challenge
     

We’ll also
support public policies
that strengthen global action on
climate through the Paris Agreement, help create carbon-free
electricity systems, and ensure that the clean energy transition
provides economic opportunity for all. Indeed, we know that strong
public policy action is critical to making carbon-free solutions
available to everyone, helping all communities prosper equally.

Investing in green infrastructure and creating thousands of jobs

By 2025, we expect to anchor over €2 billion of investment in
new carbon-free energy generation projects and green infrastructure
in Europe, helping to develop new technologies to make
round-the-clock carbon-free energy cheaper and more widely
available. This will help create more than 2,000 new clean energy
jobs in Europe by 2025. 

This comes on top of other investments we’ve made in Europe.
Between 2007-2018, Google invested approximately €7 billion in
constructing some of the world’s most energy-efficient data
centres in Europe,
supporting 9,600 full-time jobs across Europe each year
on
average. And last year, we
announced
we would purchase energy from 10 new renewable energy
infrastructure projects, which spurred more than €1 billion of
investment in renewable energy in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and
Finland, and created approximately 1,000 jobs in the process. 

In the coming decade we’ll invest in green skills training in
Europe. For example, we’re partnering with SolarPower Europe to
host introductory courses on careers in the solar industry, to
support their goal of driving more than half a million solar jobs
in Europe and power 20 percent of Europe’s electricity demand with
solar by 2030.

Helping other business and organisations increase energy efficiency
with AI

We’re committed to creating tools, sharing expertise and
investing in technologies that help others in the transition to a
carbon-free world.  We’ll do even more to help our partners
increase energy efficiency and reduce waste. 

Using machine learning, we’ve reduced by 30 percent the energy
needed for cooling our data centres. Now, we’re making this
proven
cloud technology solution
available for use by commercial
buildings and industrial facilities around the world—such as
airports, shopping malls and other data centres, helping them
reduce their own carbon impact.

For example, by using Google AI to analyse large data sets and
forecast demand, the French retailer Carrefour managed
to drastically reduce food waste. The German electric utility
company E.ON
is using Cloud Data Analytics to help energy managers make
decisions that reduce costs and CO2 footprint. 

Boosting innovation, helping cities and local governments,
supporting reforestation

Nonprofits, civil society organisations, and universities play a
critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change. We’ve
seen the positive impact of funding innovative ideas and leaders,
such as U.K.-based Carbon Tracker’s
partnership with WattTime and others
to track global carbon
emissions from satellite imagery.

To help further support Europe’s green pioneers, we’re
launching a new Google.org
Impact Challenge
. We’re making available €10 million for
the most promising European ideas and projects that support
increased access to, or use of, renewable energy, decarbonization
of transportation, improved air quality, natural resource planning
and protection, or circular economy and design. Applications are
open today. Recipients will receive up to €2 million in funding
and in some cases support from the Google.org Impact Challenge
Accelerator. They will be selected by independent experts,
including Greentech founder Nico Rosberg, scientist Dr. Maggie
Adderin-Pocock, Director General of the Finnish Environment
Institute Lea Kauppi, and Former Irish Minister for the Environment
John Gormley. 

In addition, we’ve pledged to help
500 cities and local governments globally
reduce an aggregate
of one gigaton (that’s 1 billion tons) of carbon emissions per
year by 2030—more than a country the size of Germany emits. This
adds to the €2.7 million from Google.org we committed last year
to support European cities in implementing climate action plans.
For example, with funding from the Google.org ICLEI Action Fund,
the Birmingham-based nonprofit Centre for Sustainable Energy is
launching an open-source, city-wide data set, along with tools to
model decarbonization options for buildings in the city and other
interventions.

Finally, as part of our work to remove carbon from the
atmosphere, we’re launching a science-based reforestation program
and pledging $1 million in funding from Google.org to develop tools
that will help increase the likelihood of success for ecosystem
restoration projects around the world, including in Northern
Spain.

We’re optimistic that this can be a decisive decade for
climate action.  We’re committed to supporting Europe’s ambition
to become the first
carbon-neutral continent
and to playing our part to move the
world closer to a carbon-free future.

Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 2
Supporting a greener future in Europe