Microsoft moves to erase its carbon footprint from the atmosphere in climate push
Microsoft will invest US$1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.
Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it aims to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits by 2030 and that by 2050, it hopes to have taken out enough to account for all the direct emissions the company has ever made.
The focus on removing existing carbon from the atmosphere sets Microsoft’s climate goals apart from other corporate pledges which have focused on cutting ongoing emissions or preventing future ones.
Speaking from a stage at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, Chief Executive Satya Nadella said that corporations need to create profitable solutions for the problems of both people and planet.
“If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that technology built without these principles can do more harm than good,” he said. “We must begin to offset the damaging effects of climate change,” he said, adding if global temperatures continue to rise unabated “the results will be devastating.”
Microsoft plans to cut its carbon emissions by more than half by 2030 across its supply chain. The plan includes the creation of a “Climate Innovation Fund,” which will invest US$1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.
The effort “will require technology by 2030 that doesn’t fully exist today,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
He added that Microsoft will also expand an internal fee that it has charged to its business groups to account for their carbon emissions.
Since 2012, Microsoft assessed the fee on direct emissions, electricity use and air travel, among other activities, but will expand it to cover all Microsoft-related emissions.
“That money is used, then, for us to invest in our work to reduce our carbon emissions,” he said.