The Strategist

Google grows CO2 emissions due to energy demands of data centers and AI

07/11/2024 - 05:51

In an environmental report, Google stated that it was unable to lower its CO2 emissions in 2024 due to rising energy consumption from data centers and artificial intelligence.

Nick Humphries
Nick Humphries
In 2023, Google recorded 14.3 million tons of CO2 emissions, up 13% from 12.6 million tons in 2022 and 48% from 9.7 million tons in 2019, the base year.

The company admitted that "scaling AI and using it to accelerate action on climate change is just as important as addressing its associated environmental impacts". Google is certain that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to accelerate climate action and contribute to a 5–10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2030.

In response to increasing energy costs, Google is replacing the processors in its data center servers with more energy-efficient models and is exploring more effective cooling techniques. According to the company's study, this might result in a 1,000-fold reduction in emissions related to AI operations and a 100-fold reduction in the energy required for AI training.