Greenpeace targets Amazon in clean cloud stunt

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Oh how clean power advocates wish this were true: a website with the URL “greenAWS.com,” which claims to be made by a “green team” at Amazon’s Web Services group, says that AWS will launch a pilot project offering a select group access to a completely clean powered version of its cloud and storage services. The site has been passed around during Amazon’s AWS Re:Invent event taking place in Vegas this week.

But alas, this news isn’t true. If you pull back the curtain on the site a bit, the domain name is registered to a blocked private holder, and if you track back the IP address it takes you to . . . Greenpeace USA. The project appears to be an attempt by the environmental group to start a discussion around how it thinks AWS should concentrate more efforts on sourcing renewable energy for its services.

Greenpeace hasn’t been secretive about that it wants Amazon to figure out ways to add in more clean power to its mix. In a report earlier this year, Greenpeace gave Amazon (as well as Apple) failing grades for its failure to source more clean power, while the group gave other Internet providers like Google and Yahoo passing grades. Google, in fact, has been a pioneer in this space, and has invested close to $1 billion into clean power projects.

Greenpeace confirmed with me that the web site was created by them. Amazon’s communications team said the site didn’t come from Amazon. So there you go. Greenpeace also just sent me this link that explains the stunt.

This may be a prank but I do think Amazon should take clean power more seriously, considering its such a huge cloud provider and it provides services for so many cutting edge and pioneering web and mobile startups. Others in the data center sector have expressed similar sentiments to me this year.

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