By Stephen Harper, Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy at Intel
Intel applauds President Biden’s decision today to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, reinstating the U.S. as a key global leader on climate action. Together with Congress’ recent passage of legislation to dramatically phase-down the use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, consistent with the Montreal Protocol, the U.S. rejoining the Paris process represents the most significant progress the U.S. has ever made in addressing the challenge of climate change.
Following the U.S.’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2017, Intel joined hundreds of businesses, investors, universities, local officials and states governments through the “We Are Still In” project to pledge our continued support of the Paris Agreement and pursue ambitious climate goals. We believed then, and believe today, that climate change is a serious challenge that warrants a serious societal response, and the U.S. should remain a partner in this global effort. We also committed to working on our own and in partnerships with governments and civil society groups to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable, carbon-neutral economy.
We have worked hard to uphold that commitment, and have made tremendous strides toward sustainability. Intel has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent on an intensity basis from a 2010 baseline; reduced water usage by 38 percent on a per-unit basis; and sent zero hazardous waste to landfills. On Earth Day 2020, we announced that Intel-supported projects restored approximately 1 billion gallons of water to local watersheds in the U.S. – enough to support more than 9,000 U.S. homes for a year.
This past year, we took our commitment to sustainability to the next level when we launched Intel’s 2030 goals. Over the next decade, we plan to achieve net positive water use, 100% renewable power use, zero total waste to landfills, and additional absolute carbon emissions reductions even as we continue to grow our manufacturing capacity. This is our commitment to reduce our direct climate and environment ‘footprint.” In parallel, Intel is committed to applying our own technologies, and those of our IT industry partners, to help others reduce their climate footprints – what we call our “handprint.” We believe this combination of reducing our own impact and helping others do the same can make a big contribution to meeting the climate challenge.
The U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement is just one step, albeit a very important one. Successfully addressing climate challenge will require policy leadership in Washington. To that end, we have joined with other IT and digital companies to form the Digital Climate Alliance (DCA) and are already meeting with key Congressional staff to support smart climate policy development. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress on legislation and executive action that will turn ambition into reality.