Google struggles to meet its climate goals in Gemini AI era

  • Since 2019, Google’s total greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased by 48% as a result of its AI industry.
  • To reduce emissions, Google has set a goal of using carbon-free energy 24/7 on every grid it connects to by 2030.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), data centres today account for about 1% of the world’s electricity consumption. However, with the booming development of AI industry, the electricity consumption of data centres may increase by 10 times by 2026.
–Zora Lin, BTW reporter

What happened

According to Google‘s latest environmental report, the company’s greenhouse gas emissions have skyrocketed, suggesting that the company will have a much harder time meeting its climate goals while prioritising AI.

Google aims to cut its Earth-heating pollution in half by 2030 compared to its 2019 baseline. But its total greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased by 48 percent since 2019. Last year alone, it produces 14.3 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution, a 13 percent increase from the previous year and equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that 38 gas-fired power plants might release each year.

The report points out that the increase in global warming pollution comes mainly from energy use in data centres and emissions from the supply chain, especially data centres used to train AI, which is the largest source of additional carbon emissions for Google last year.

Google is in the Gemini era, and redesigning its search engine with generative AI will result in greater climate costs. To reduce its environmental impact, Google says it is working to make its AI models, hardware and data centers more energy efficient. The company also has a goal to use carbon-pollution-free energy 24/7 on every grid it connects to by 2030.

Also read: Google buys stake in BlackRock’s Taiwan solar unit

Also read: How to access Google’s Gemini?

Why it’s important

Google’s surge in greenhouse gas emissions highlights the challenges tech giants face in meeting their climate goals, reflecting the need for the entire tech industry to balance technological development with environmental protection while pursuing technological innovation and rapid growth.

With the rapid development and wide application of artificial intelligence technology, its demand for energy and carbon emissions will continue to increase, which requires us to promote the development of AI, but also pay attention to the use of clean energy, take a more energy-efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Google says it is working to make its AI models, hardware and data centres more energy efficient, reflecting Google’s determination and actions in promoting green technology innovation, helping to set an example for the technology industry to promote a more environmentally friendly and sustainable direction.


Zora Lin

Zora Lin is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in Products and AI. She graduated from Chang’an University. Send tips to

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