Google’s move follows a Greenpeace report on cloud companies’ ties to the industry and sets it apart from competitors like Amazon and Microsoft.
Google said Tuesday it will no longer build custom AI tools that help oil and gas companies extract fossil fuels.
The announcement followed a Greenpeace report revealing a number of cloud computing services provided by tech companies to the energy industry.
The report said providing such services undermined companies’ own commitments to reducing their carbon footprint.
By refusing to design custom tools for oil and gas extraction, Google has set itself apart from competitors like Amazon and Microsoft.
Google said it will no longer build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction, separating itself from cloud computing rivals Microsoft and Amazon.
The announcement followed a Greenpeace report Tuesday that documents how the three tech giants are using AI and computing power to help oil companies find and access oil and gas deposits in the U.S. and around the world.
The environmentalist group said Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have been undermining their own environmental commitments by partnering with major oil companies, including Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, that have looked for new technology to get more oil and gas out of the ground.
But the group applauded Google on Tuesday for taking a step away from those deals.
“While Google still has a few legacy contracts with oil and gas firms, we welcome this indication from Google that it will no longer build custom solutions for upstream oil and gas extraction,” said Elizabeth Jardim, senior corporate campaigner for Greenpeace USA.
Google said it will honor all existing contracts with its customers, but didn’t specify what companies.
Greenpeace’s report says Microsoft appears to be leading the way with the most oil and contracts, “offering AI capabilities in all phases of oil production.” Amazon’s contracts are more focused on pipelines, shipping and fuel storage, according to the report. Their tools have been deployed to speed up shale extraction, especially from the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
Some of the contracts have led to by employees who are pushing their companies to do more to combat climate change.
Amazon declined to comment on the Greenpeace report, but pointed to wording on its website that said “the energy industry should have access to the same technologies as other industries.” Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.