Facebook today pledged to cut greenhouse gases and buy enough renewable energy and offsetting to eliminate carbon emissions from its global operations this year. However, Facebook is still pumping out greenhouse gases.
The company’s new promise of zero net carbon emissions puts it on the right track to offset its global electricity consumption and pollution from planet warming by investing in renewable energy projects and initiatives that capture and store carbon dioxide. The social media giant is also setting a more ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions for its supply chain, employee commuting and business travel by 2030.
This puts Facebook at the center of Big Tech̵
Facebook’s carbon footprint has been decreasing every year since 2017 – and the company likely won’t emit as much greenhouse gas as companies that make devices or hardware. Facebook’s data centers and offices generated around 251,000 tons of greenhouse gases last year, compared to 616,000 in 2017, according to the sustainability report. It also has a smaller carbon footprint than Google, which released 4.4 million tons of greenhouse gases from its operations in 2018.
The company has also set up a Climate Science Information Center, which is available today to users in the US, Germany, the UK and France. It is planned to bring the information center to other countries in the future. The information center is very similar to the Facebook, launched in March, which was displayed at the top of the users’ news feed. It will include information from reputable sources such as the United Nations Panel of Climate Scientists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Last year, climate researchers, lawmakers and environmentalists criticized Facebook for not stopping the spread of misinformation on its platform. In August 2019, Facebook removed a “false” rating from a comment published by the Washington Examiner. An independent fact checker for Facebook had initially rated the comment as “very misleading” because it contained imprecise information and selected data on climate change. That led to a report by E&E News That said, Facebook has essentially created a new climate misinformation loophole to escape control when Facebook treats the content as an opinion. Facebook defended its decision in response to a letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and other Democratic senators that was shared exclusively The edge Last month. “It has long been our guide to independent fact-checkers that clear opinion doesn’t need to be checked on Facebook.”
Facebook said today that only politicians’ opinions and speeches are exempt from fact-checking. “Our fact checkers can and evaluate climate science content – there has never been a ban on doing this … Simply marking content as a comment or editorial does not make it unacceptable for fact-checking,” a spokesman for Facebook wrote in an email on The edge.
Facebook’s new climate protection commitments arise when fires break records on the west coast of the USA and Silicon Valley is suffocated with smoke. Joe Biden and the Governors of California, Washington and Oregon have pointed out that climate change has made wildfires more devastating – the flames are much larger than in the past and the firing times are getting longer.