Microsoft unveils ambitious $1 billion plan to address climate change
Microsoft announced Thursday its plans to be carbon negative by 2030, as part of a $1 billion climate initiative.
“The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem,” the company said in a news release, penned by Microsoft President Brad Smith. “Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.”
By 2050, the company not only hopes to be carbon negative, but to actually remove all of the carbon Microsoft has emitted since it was founded in 1975.
The billion-dollar initiative will be known as the “Climate Innovation Fund,” which will look to “accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies.”
Funding will come from what the company is labeling an “internal carbon fee,” something Microsoft has had in place since 2012. Starting in 2019, it also started charging for emissions from the company’s “supply and value chains.”
This marks an even more aggressive plan than one put forward by Amazon last September, when Jeff Bezos pledged to have his company be carbon neutral by 2040. That was announced in the face of pressure from Amazon’s own employees, over 1,000 of whom organized a walkout meant to compel the company to “demonstrate real climate leadership.” That group demanded the company meet a goal of zero emissions by 2030.
For Microsoft’s plan, it outlined a series of values to guide its approach, including a grounding in science and math, investments in carbon removal technology, a commitment to transparency, and empowering its employees to help.
Smith labeled the initiative “a bold bet” for Microsoft.
“And it will need to become a moonshot for the world,” he outlined.