Microsoft aims to be ‘carbon negative,’ remove all its emissions since 1975

Jan. 17 (UPI) — Microsoft has announced it will be fully “carbon negative” by the start of the next decade, as part of a project to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits.

The strategy was announced Thursday, amid pressure on more companies to take greater steps to fight climate change. Microsoft is now the largest company to commit to such a track.

“The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent carbon problem,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. “The carbon in our atmosphere has created a blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate.

“Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by one degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.”

Smith said Microsoft can reach the goal by 2030, and urged other companies that can “move faster” in reaching similar goals should do so. He also said by 2050, the software giant will have removed all carbon emissions it has put into the atmosphere since it was founded in 1975.

“We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions but those from our supply and value chains,” Smith added.

Microsoft’s plan includes investing in carbon reduction and removal technology, developing green technologies for suppliers and customers, supporting carbon-reducing public policy and encouraging employees to do the same.