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Greenpeace flies protest blimp over Duke Energy plant

The environmental group once again targets Apple's energy supplier in North Carolina

Greenpeace has actively opposed Apple for using 'dirty' energy again. Greenpeace flew a blimp over Apple's energy supplier Duke Energy's power plant in North Carolina as a protest against the company's attempt to raise fuel rates. Duke Energy is the power supplier for Apple's Data Centre in Maiden, which houses its iCloud servers.

Two banners were flown on the Greenpeace blimp stating, "Duke: Don't Raise Rates for Dirty Energy" and "Cleaner is Cheaper". Greenpeace has been protesting against organizations that fail to use renewable energy and as part of the campaign is putting its efforts in opening the world's eyes to the coal powered energy that companies such as Duke are producing.

Duke Energy spokesman Greg Efthimiou told Wired: "Greenpeace can't have it both ways. Cleaning up its energy sources requires extra dough. Duke Energy has argued that its emissions have been reduced as it's upgraded its power plants to meet environmental standards.

Greenpeace spokesman David Pomerantz told Wired:"It would make sense for the tech giant [Apple] to join the chorus of people in the state who are now pushing Duke to retire its coal plants and start investing heavily in clean energy," suggesting that Apple should be leading the discussion for cleaner energy.

Apple has not responded to the claims made by Greenpeace's Pomerantz, although the company has previously directed media to its Apple environmental footprint page that reports environmental impact of its products.

A more public commitment to the environment has been a priority for Apple since 2007, when Jobs penned the open letter "A Greener Apple." In it, he fought back against criticisms by environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, which had taken the company to task for not doing enough to reduce the use of toxic substances in its products. Jobs said the company would soon be ahead of its competitors in that realm, and promised improving its recycling goal--a milestone it ended up beating a year ahead of schedule.

Greenpeace is carrying out campaigns against big brands like Apple to eliminate the spread of toxic chemicals that they believe to be a global threat to the environment. Apple has faced criticism for depending on 'dirty energy' and failing to adhere to environmental regulations. This is not the first time that Greenpeace has protested about Apple's source of energy for their data centers. Back in April Greenpeace placed 'dark iClouds' over Regent Street's Apple Store and a month later they infiltrated Apple's Cupertino campus.

Following these protests by Greenpeace, we reported that Apple has contested claims from Greenpeace that its North Carolina data center will be mostly coal powered. Apple maintains that 60 per cent of the power will be eventually delivered on-site from a solar farm and fuel-cell installation currently proposed.

Indeed Greenpeace has recognised that Apple is making some changes. We recently wrote how Greenpeace re-scored Apple on its commitment to renewable energy. Greenpeace increased Apple's score in a number of areas in its "How Clean is your Cloud" report. The report, released in April, analyzed electricity consumption by data centers. However, Greenpeace said: "Ultimately, if Apple wants to get serious about its commitment to a coal-free iCloud, the most important thing it can do is use its buying leverage with Duke Energy and other utilities to push for cleaner electricity options."


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