Microsoft to erase its carbon footprint

January 17, 2020

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NEW YORK: 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 Microsofts 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.

The announcement by the world’s largest software company is the latest in a flurry of climate goals set out by firms after President Donald Trump announced in 2017 his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, the global pact to fight climate change.

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 $1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.

Co-founder Bill Gates was an early backer of British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering, one of a handful of companies developing direct air capture technology.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020