Greenpeace CEO attacks Facebook over coal power

Social networking site Facebook's decision to build a coal powered data centre has prompted environmentalists to launch a protest on the same site.

In January this year facebook, which launched in 2004 and now has more than 500 million users, announced it would build a coal-powered data centre in Prineville, Oregon.

Greenpeace created this group to campaign against the decision.

And as of this week, the group has 500,000 members prompting Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo, to write directly to Facebook.

Mr Naidoo asks Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to take responsibility for his company’s growing energy footprint and show some climate leadership.

In his letter he writes: “Climate scientists around the world tell us that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015 in order to stay within a critical temperature threshold to have a chance of avoiding runaway global warming.

“To do this, we must break our addiction to oil, coal, and other dirty fossil fuels and transition away from them as rapidly as possible.

“Given the tremendous growth of IT cloud computing companies like Facebook expected in this same period, your company has an increasingly essential role to play in helping to drive the deployment of renewable energy sources needed to avert the most devastating possible effects of our changing climate.

“Facebook has a responsibility to exhibit good corporate citizenship toward the growing public it serves.

“No global business leader, particularly not one who reaches so many people daily, could deny that in this time it is both a threat to a company’s reputation and financial health risk to ignore their company’s environmental impacts.”

Facebook said in a statement: “It is true the local utility for the region we chose, Pacific Power, has an energy mix that is weighted slightly more toward coal than the national average.

“However, the efficiency we are able to achieve because of the climate of the region and the reduced energy usage that results minimises our overall carbon footprint.”

Luke Walsh

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