What just happened? More than 1,000 Google employees have signed a public letter demanding that the firm implement a “company-wide climate plan” that will see it eliminate carbon emissions by 2030 and terminate its relationship with fossil fuel entities and climate change deniers.
Back in September, Google announced it would be spending $2 billion on renewable energy infrastructure, but many employees believe it needs to do more.
In a piece published on Medium, addressed to Google CFO Ruth Porat, the group calling itself Google Workers for Action on Climate wrote: “We, the undersigned Google workers, in accordance with the gravity and urgency of the global climate crisis and its disproportionate harm to marginalized people, call on Google to commit to and release a company-wide climate plan.” The letter is signed by 1,137 Google workers.
The demands also include Google cutting ties with “entities enabling the incarceration, surveillance, displacement, or oppression of refugees or frontline communities.”
As noted by Vice, Google’s data centers saw it use around 10 tera-watt hours in 2018 alone—enough to power almost 1 million US homes for almost one year. And a Guardian report from last month reveals the company’s large contributions made to climate change deniers.
Google’s employees are following in the footsteps of Amazon staff, who co-signed a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos earlier this year asking for the company to transition away from fossil fuels completely. This was followed by 1,800 of its employees joining other tech workers in the Global Climate Strike on September 20.