Greenpeace urges Facebook to 'unfriend' coal

Greenpeace has challenged Facebook to promise it will stop getting the energy to run its massive server farms from dirty coal-based power stations in time for Earth Day on 22nd April.

The environmental group's 'Facebook: Unfriend Coal' campaign, complete with the cutesy animation below, boasts 600,000 supporters - recruited, seemingly without irony, via the use of the fossil fuel-guzzling social network.

Greenpeace's call follows an interview at last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, during which International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo presented Facebook's director of marketing, Randi Zuckerberg, with a pledge for her brother - CEO Mark - to sign by Earth Day.

The pledge includes commitments to increase Facebook's use of clean energy, leading to the site becoming completely coal-free by 2021.

Naidoo also wants Facebook to educate its users about the way the company powers its services - and asks the half-billion-strong social network to become a leading advocate for clean energy at a local, national and international level.

Donning her straightest PR poker face, as we recall, Ms Zuckerberg revealed that multi-billionaire Mark was already doing his bit for the environment, having recently become a vegetarian. And we thought he sated his appetite solely on users' personal information.

"Facebook has become a household name used every day by millions of people; unfortunately, it's relying on 19th century dirty coal power to deliver its 21st century services," Greenpeace energy campaigner Casey Harrell said in a statement.

"People from all over the world are asking the website they love to lead the Energy Revolution by un-friending coal. Will Mark Zuckerberg rise to the challenge?"

Our honest opinion? Not likely.

Which doesn't necessarily mean he won't sign Greenpeace's piece of paper. Promises make good PR, after all. Herbivorous Mark has already promised to give away half of his fortune by signing the 'Giving Pledge', a Who's Who of the United States' publicity-seeking philanthropists led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates 3.0.

For more information on Greenpeace's campaign to persuade Facebook out of its coal-grubbing ways, click here.