According to new research from the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing could be a good move toward green IT, as it would cut CO2 emissions by millions.

The study, titled Cloud Computing: The IT Solution for the 21st Century, said U.S. companies could save 85.7 million metric tons of CO2 annually by moving to the cloud. This is equal to 200 million barrels of oil, the study says.

CDP said that cloud computing can help organizations reduce CO2 energy emissions while saving money and increasing operation efficiency. Even so, many of the companies surveyed said boosting environmental performance was not their primary motivation for moving to the cloud.

Cloud computing will account for 69 percent of IT spending by 2020, the study says, up from about 10 percent today.

Another recent study by Pike Research shows that cloud computing could lead to a reduction of data center energy consumption by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020. The study said cloud revenue will grow strongly over next many years, but the reduction in energy consumption will be more significant.