Microsoft says it wants to be 'carbon negative' by 2030

Microsoft plans to be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030 and says it will remove more CO2 from the environment than it emits

  • Microsoft says it will extract more CO2 from the environment than it emits 
  • It will invest $1 billion into carbon capture technology in the next four years 
  • The company aims to become ‘carbon negative’ by 2030 
  • It also aims to use entirely renewable energy by 2025 

Microsoft says it’s going to take its commitment to being carbon neutral one step further.

In an announcement on Thursday, the tech giant says it will strive to be ‘carbon negative,’ meaning it will attempt to remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits using a mixture of renewable energy and carbon-cleansing technology that pulls emitted fumes from the atmosphere.

While carbon capture technology exists, Microsoft has acknowledged that it’s not quite efficient enough to sustainably remove CO2 from the environment. 

Microsoft and its founder, Bill Gates (pictured above) are looking to amp up their commitment of being carbon neutral by actually removing CO2 from the atmosphere (Stock image)

To help improve that end, Microsoft said it will also invest another $1 billion throughout the next four years into advancing performance and lowering cost. 

‘The world’s climate experts agree that the world must take urgent action to bring down emissions. Ultimately, we must reach “net zero” emissions, meaning that humanity must remove as much carbon as it emits each year,’ Microsoft wrote in an announcement.

‘This will take aggressive approaches, new technology that doesn’t exist today, and innovative public policy. It is an ambitious – even audacious – goal, but science tells us that it’s a goal of fundamental importance to every person alive today and for every generation to follow.’

Microsoft, which has been carbon neutral since 2012, said it will also shift its resources to focus on renewable fuel and has targeted a goal of relying entirely on renewable energy by 2025.

By 2050 Microsoft says it hopes to stop emitting carbon altogether. 

To help fund its initiative, Microsoft will continue to impose fees on its business divisions that are contingent on the amount of greenhouse gas they emit. 

This will not only fund Microsoft’s own internal shift toward being carbon negative, but will incentive others to follow suit, according to the company.  

Carbon capture technology has lacked the sophistication and price point to make a substantive impact in the environment. That’s why Microsoft will devote $1 billion to improving it

Though laudable for a company of Microsoft’s size – it emits a whopping 16 million metric tons of CO2 ever year according to The Verge – critics of carbon capture technology have pointed out that it may only reinforce reliance on fossil fuels.

Instead of switching to renewable and greener forms of energy, skeptics say carbon capture may just promote the status quo.

There’s also the issue of storage – in other words, what to do with the carbon after it’s been reclaimed.

As noted by The Verge, Microsoft will have to devise a plan of exactly where and how to store the CO2 to have any real, substantive, effect on climate change and the future of our environment.

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