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Microsoft Commits To Go 'Carbon Negative' By 2030, Creates $1B Fund For Climate Innovation

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Neer Varshney
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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) on Thursday said it's planning to become ‘carbon negative' by 2030.

What Happened

This means that the company will aim to clear more carbon from the environment than it emits.

Microsoft also pledged to entirely eliminate all carbon that the company has emitted "either directly or by electrical consumption" since its founding in 1975.

"While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so," Microsoft's President Brad Smith said in a statement.

Smith said that the practice of aiming for carbon neutrality by most major companies isn't enough. Don't just pay someone not to cut the trees, plant more trees, Smith implied.

"Like most carbon-neutral companies, Microsoft has achieved carbon neutrality primarily by investing in offsets that primarily avoid emissions instead of removing carbon that has already been emitted. That's why we're shifting our focus. In short, neutral is not enough to address the world's needs," Smith added.

The Microsoft President said that the company would take a "principled approach" grounded in "science and math," as it looks to tackle climate change. It will also help its suppliers and customers reduce their carbon footprint, the statement said.

The company has also committed $1 billion to create a "Climate Innovation Fund" to accelerate the process and fund promising technology in the field.

Why It Matters

The technology giants have been facing tremendous pressure, in particular from their own employees, for reducing their carbon footprint.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), in September last year, committed to switching to 100% renewable energy by 2030 but has allegedly threatened to fire employee climate activists for publicly criticizing its policy as inadequate.

Cupertino-based Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPl) and Google parent company Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have both said that they achieved 100% carbon neutrality, but both of them have relied on purchasing renewable energy credits, as Smith noted about the policy Microsoft wants to change.

Price Action

Microsoft's shares closed 1.83% higher at $166.17. The shares added another 0.38% in after-hours trading.

Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.


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