- Google employees published an open letter with more than 1,000 signatories on Monday demanding the company take a stronger line on climate change.
- The letter demanded that Google commit to zero emissions by 2030, cut ties with the fossil-fuel industry, stop funding climate-denying lobbyists and politicians, and have no relationship with organizations involved in oppressing “refugees or frontline communities.”
- While Google likes to tout its green initiatives, it has also donated to think tanks and lobbying groups that push back against climate-change legislation, and Gizmodo reported early this year on its aggressive push into big oil.
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More than 1,000 Google employees have published an open letter to the company’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, demanding that the company take action on climate change.
The signatories issued Google with four demands on Monday:
- Zero emissions by 2030.
- Zero contracts to enable or accelerate the extraction of fossil fuels.
- Zero funding for climate-denying or -delaying think tanks, lobbyists, and politicians.
- Zero collaboration with entities enabling the incarceration, surveillance, displacement, or oppression of refugees or frontline communities.
Google is outwardly vocal about its green initiatives, and in September it announced its “biggest renewable energy purchase ever.” That same month, CEO Sundar Pichai also told the Financial Times that a 2030 zero-emissions goal “doesn’t seem unreasonable,” though he didn’t publicly commit to it.
The other demands could meet more resistance from Google.
The Guardian reported in October that Google had funded multiple lobbying groups and think tanks that actively pushed back against climate-change legislation, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose director, Myron Ebell, was reportedly a key player in convincing President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
When asked by Business Insider about why Google, which advocates climate-change action, funds these organizations, a spokesman said at the time: “Google’s sponsorship doesn’t mean that we endorse that organization’s entire agenda — we may disagree strongly on some issues.”
The signatories also cited a Gizmodo report from February that delved into the extent to which Google and Microsoft were courting big oil.
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