In “Make IT Green” Cloud Computing and its Contribution to Climate Change” (1) Greenpeace builds on previous industry research (2) to show that cloud-based computing, which allows devices like the iPad to access online services like social networks and video streaming, has potentially a much larger carbon footprint than previously estimated. The report finds that at current growth rates, data centers and telecommunication networks, the two key components of the cloud, will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity in 2020, more than triple their current consumption and over half the current electricity consumption of the United States == or more than France, Germany, Canada and Brazil == combined. (3) “As the cloud grows, the IT industry’s appetite for energy will only increase, so the industry must become strong advocates for renewable energy solutions and strong laws that cut global warming pollution,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International campaigner. “IT companies like Microsoft, Google, and IBM are now in powerful positions at the local, national, and international levels to influence policies that will allow them to grow responsibly in a way that will decouple their economic growth from rising greenhouse gas emissions.” Facebook recently announced the construction of its own data center in Prineville, Oregon that will run primarily on coal. By choosing electric utility PacifiCorp as its power provider, a utility that sources the majority of its power from coal-fired power stations, Facebook missed a chance to incentivize the use of renewable energy and instead reinforced the coal industry's grip on the nation’s power grid. (4) “The ICT sector holds many of the keys to reaching our climate goals by innovating solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency,” Harrell said. “Technologies that enable smart grids, zero emissions buildings, and more efficient transport systems are central to efforts to combat climate change. But to given the projected size of the cloud at current pace, IT must also get their own carbon footprint under control.” (5) Greenpeace is calling for the biggest IT companies to support government policies that give priority grid access for renewable sources of energy and that increase the supply of zero carbon energy sources like wind and solar. IT companies should also support economy-wide climate and energy policy in the US that peak emissions by 2015 and then precipitously reduces them to as close to zero as possible by 2050.