Google has announced that in a few days it will join the United Nations Conference on Climate Change of 2021 (# COP26) scheduled from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, under the UK presidency, alongside world leaders to discuss how to tackle the climate challenge together. The conference will be open to everyone and can be followed via #GoogleArts and #YouTube.
“Recent research reveals that more than 70% of the global population is worried or afraid of climate change. As such, we are working to make this year’s conference accessible to all.” commented Ruth Porat, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Google & Alphabet in a post on the company blog, also sharing everything that Google has done, is doing and will do as part of its commitment to achieve carbon-free emissions for all its operations and along its supply chain by 2030, including through investments in carbon removal solutions based on natural and technological interventions to neutralize remaining emissions.
In collaboration with the presidency of COP26, Google will livestream the activities through YouTube and Google Arts and Culture (artsandculture.google.com/project/sustainability), helping # COP26 expand the reach of its digital channels. YouTube digital creators at the conference will create content to share with their global audience, while Google itself will publish videos, images and artwork from the ‘green zone’ – the hub of COP26 activities – via a new page on Google Arts and Cultures, inviting people everywhere to participate in discussions and activities.
COP26-designate chairman Alok Sharma said: “I am delighted that COP26 is partnering with Google to help bring the COP26 Green Zone to the world in a few days. With more than 200 really interesting and diverse events, we want everyone to have the opportunity to learn more about the action for climate and help protect our planet “.
“Our work at COP26 is part of our broader strategy for the third decade of climate action” Porat added. “Not only are we committed to being more sustainable in how Google operates as a company, but we are also focused on building new technologies to make sure that the partners, corporate customers and billions of people who use Google products every day can also be more sustainable with us. “
In 2020, Google has set itself the goal of operating all of its data centers and campuses with carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030. This means that by the end of the decade, Google is aiming to make sure that every search, every e-mail and every view on YouTube happens without any carbon emissions. Last year, Google achieved 67% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis across all of its data centers, up from 61% in 2019.
Five of Google’s data centers – including those in Denmark and Finland – use nearly 90% carbon-free energy. On Google campuses, the company is investing in sustainable energy innovations – such as the Dragonscale solar roof and geothermal piles – to move closer to its goal of operating on carbon-free energy by 2030.
Learning that urban areas are responsible for 70% of the world’s carbon emissions, in 2020 Google pledged to help more than 500 cities reduce their carbon emissions through its tool. Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE)which now helps major cities – including Amsterdam, Birmingham UK and Copenhagen – map their emissions, solar potential and air quality data for their remediation plans.
Google recently shared a research project that, thanks to artificial intelligence, can help cities improve traffic with more efficient use of traffic lights. This has already been adopted in Israel, resulting in a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. It will also be extended to other cities.
Google is also committed to helping corporate customers such as Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever And Salesforce to develop solutions for the specific challenges they are preparing to address on climate change. Unilever is working with Google Cloud and Google Earth Engine satellite imagery to help avoid deforestation in its supply chain. At Google’s annual Cloud Next event, which took place a few weeks ago, the company launched Carbon Footprint, a tool that helps companies of all sizes evaluate their carbon emissions based on their use of the Google Cloud Platform. .
Google has also pledged to help 1 billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022 through its products and services. Recently, Google shared several new ways people can use Google products to make sustainable choices – from choosing green routes to finding more sustainable flights and hotels, with tools to support the use of clean energy at home with Nest products and offering information on climate change from authoritative sources such as the United Nations.