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Murdoch Claims News Corp Carbon Neutral

Rupert Murdoch tells employees that the company met its zero-carbon 2010 goal and eyes further emissions reductions.

News Corporation claimed to have reached its goal of carbon neutrality this week, prompting guffaws from commentators who pointed out its Fox News subsidiary's pointed pro-sceptic stance on the subject.

A memo from chief executive Rupert Murdoch to employees outlined the financial benefits of the company's four-year initiative to reduce carbon emissions from its facilities and operations. He talked up News Corp's ongoing commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly, tying in the upside for shareholders.

"The company's global data center consolidation strategy alone will save approximately $20m per year and reduce data centre emissions by almost 15 per cent when completed later in 2011," said Murdoch in a statement.

The company also set out goals for 2015, which included reducing absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent and investing in clean energy equal to 20 per cent of the firm's electricity usage. It is also reaching out to 100 of its largest suppliers to have them make a difference in their environmental impacts.

The firm's subsidiaries have nevertheless taken a more hardline stance on climate change. Bill Sammon, managing editor at Fox News Washington, reportedly sent an email to news reporters during the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, urging reports to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period, without immediately pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

However, Murdoch himself has outlined what he sees as considerable risk from climate change. When announcing the 2010 carbon neutrality goal in 2007, Murdoch said: "Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats. We may not agree on the extent, but we certainly can't afford the risk of inaction."

As of December, News Corp achieved a 69 per cent score on NGO Climate Count's scorecard for carbon emissions. The firm had a rating of 'striving'.

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