Microsoft said Thursday that it aims to remove more carbon from the atmosphere by 2030 than it emits, and that it wants to remove enough carbon from the atmosphere by 2050 to match all of the company’s all-time direct carbon emissions.
Satya NaDELLa, Microsoft’s CHIEF executive, says companies need to create profitable solutions to human and Earth’s problems. From the lessons of the past 10 years, he says, technology that does not adhere to such principles may do more harm than good. Mr Gates said it was important to start offsetting the devastating effects of climate change, adding that if global temperatures continued to rise and fall, the consequences would be devastating.
The software giant plans to cut carbon emissions across its entire supply chain by more than half by 2030, including the creation of a Climate Innovation Fund, which will invest $1 billion over the next four years to accelerate the development of decarbonization technologies. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, said the plan “will require technology that is not completely present today by 2030”. He added that Microsoft would also expand an internal fee charged to its various business groups to curb carbon emissions.
Microsoft aims to eliminate enough carbon by 2050 to match all of the company’s carbon emissions since it was founded in 1975, including direct emissions from sources such as the company’s cars and indirect emissions from electricity.
It comes after Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, last year pledged to achieve “net zero carbon” by 2040 and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from a start-up. In other words, Microsoft plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions 10 years ahead of Amazon, but in part because the company’s carbon emissions are about a third lower than Amazon’s.
Microsoft expects to emit 16 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2020, including indirect emissions from business trips and other activities.
Microsoft and Amazon have long come under fire from activist technology practitioners who have called on them to stop providing technology to oil and gas companies. Microsoft announced a multi-year deal in 2017 to sell cloud services to U.S. energy giant Chevron. In a blog post Thursday, Microsoft reiterated its commitment to working with oil and gas companies: “The immediate priority now is to transform energy companies, including the transition to renewable energy, as well as the development and use of negative emission technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture.” “