Google announced a suite of new features that, he says, will help people using their platforms to make more sustainable choices. Google’s new sustainability services focus on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for global warming.
Before going into the details of how Google’s new sustainability services work, we need a brief background note; some environmental advocates have called on companies to transfer the responsibility for the climate crisis to individual consumers.
Holding large companies responsible for polluting their emissions far outweighs the individual impact of any consumer, e Google’s Wednesday ads aren’t really designed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
That said, there is no time to waste to keep the climate crisis from getting worse, and every small reduction in emissions helps, so for those who might want some new tools to curb their emissions, Google’s new sustainability system is there. .
Google’s new sustainability system in searches
Later this month, Google plans to change the way results for “climate change” are displayed on its search platform.
Users will be directed to a dedicated results page with “high-quality climate information,” according to Google, Google’s sustainability system plans to source content from reputable authorities on the subject, including the United Nations.
The company also says it wants to make it easier for consumers to see greener options when shopping on Google, all by “early next year”.
An example, when US-based users search for car models and manufacturers, Google will also show results for hybrid and electric vehicles, and when searching for a particular electric vehicle, users will also find nearby charging stations compatible with the model.
Likewise, Google users – again in the United States – should start seeing suggestions for more energy efficient appliances when shopping online, and that goes for searches for ovens, dishwashers, water heaters, stoves and dryers.
Google, however, hasn’t announced any changes to searches on YouTube, which is a great platform for disinformation and lies about climate change.
According to a recent analysis of the non-profit organization Avaaz, 20% of the views of the top 100 videos that appear when searching for “global warming” are for videos full of misinformation. Google also failed to comply with requests from its employees to cancel contracts with fossil fuel companies or stop funding for candidates derailing climate action.
Google’s new sustainability system on Google Maps
Again, the first updates will be for people in the US, who will be able to see which ones driving routes are the more fuel efficient when using Google Maps.
Fuel efficiency reduces both gas costs and tailpipe pollution. When the most fuel efficient route is also the fastest, Google Maps will use this option by default. If the fuel-efficient route is slower, the app will show users their options so they can make an informed decision on which one to choose. Users in Europe will be able to do the same starting in 2022, according to Google.
This will, in theory, help individual Google Maps users reduce their CO2 emissions. A passenger vehicle typically releases just under five tons of CO2 per year. And a person in the United States, who has one of the highest per capita emissions rates in the world, could be responsible for around 18 tons per year. Google, on the other hand, released 12,529,953 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2019. This roughly equates to the pollution of more than 2.73 million passenger vehicles in a year.
Wherever bike navigation on Google Maps is offered, the app will feature “Navigation Lite” in the coming months. This feature allows riders to view route instructions and details without having to leave the screen on. And starting Wednesday, the app will share information about nearby scooter and bicycle sharing in 300 cities around the world, including Berlin, New York, Sao Paulo and Taipei.
Google’s new sustainability system and flights
When searching for flights via Google, starting Wednesday, users will now be able to view the carbon emissions associated with each flight. They will even be able to see how seat selection affects their individual carbon footprint. Taking a seat in business or first class increases the amount of pollution you are responsible for, as they take up more space and therefore a larger share of the aircraft’s emissions. Choosing a more fuel-efficient route can actually reduce CO2 pollution from a given route by up to 63%, according to recent research.
Separately, Google announced plans to expand its research on how to reduce driving emissions by enabling traffic lights to direct traffic more efficiently. Google piloted the program, which uses artificial intelligence, in Israel and found reductions of between 10 and 20% in fuel and delay time at intersections. He plans to take the program to other cities around the world, starting with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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