Tech giant unveils plans for new Climate Science Information Centre as it pledges to reach net zero emissions across its value chain by 2030
Following years of criticism for its part in the spread of climate misinformation, Facebook has announced plans for a new virtual Climate Science Information Centre that will connect its users to up-to-date science-based climate information.
The Climate Science Information Centre will launch in the US, UK, Germany, and France initially and bring together factual resources from the world's leading climate organisations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Met Office, Facebook said.
"Climate change is real," the company said in a statement this morning. "The science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day. As a global company that connects more than three billion people across our apps every month, we understand the responsibility Facebook has and we want to make a real difference."
Facebook has come under fire from climate groups, lawmakers, and environmentalists over the summer for a loophole in its fact checking process that allowed conservative groups to successfully campaign for the overruling of 'false' warnings on posts marked as climate disinformation by scientific experts.
The firm announced the launch of the dedicated climate space on its site this week as it announced a new plan to reach net zero emissions from its supply chain, including suppliers, employee commuting, and business travel, by 2030.
It said it would achieve this new goal through working with suppliers, supporting the development of new carbon removal technologies and making its facilities as efficient as possible.
The firm also said it would achieve net zero emissions across its global operations this year by purchasing offsets and driving down its absolute emissions through the purchase of renewable energy and other initiatives. It confirmed it was on track to deliver a 75 per cent reduction in emissions against a 2017 baseline.
The firm's new commitments to reaching net zero supply chain emissions by 2030 match those of competitor Apple, which pledged to reach net zero emissions across its supply chain in the same timeframe last month.
It also comes after Google yesterday revealed it had already eliminated its entire carbon legacy through offsets and was planning to operate with entirely carbon-free energy by 2030. Microsoft has similarly pledged to be 'carbon negative' by 2030 and to actively remove all the carbon the firm has historically emitted from its operations.
And in a positive sign for its ongoing efforts to decarbonise, Microsoft announced yesterday that a pilot project to assess the efficacy of underwater data centres had revealed that they were eight times more reliable than land-based data centres, whilst also leading to reduced energy, land, and infrastructure requirements.
A 25-month test of a data cenre placed 117 feet deep on the seafloor near the Orkney Islands in Scotland has demonstrated that "underwater datacentres can run well on what land-based datacentres consider an unreliable grid, meaning in future we may not need as much infrastrucutre for datacentres", the company said.
Want to find out more about Amazon's net zero plans? Kara Hurst, vice president for worldwide sustainability at the company will be one of over 100 top speakers at the world's first Net Zero Festival this autumn. You can find out more about the festival and register your attendance here.
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