Microsoft's response appears to be the most aggressive plan yet proposed by a major tech company to prevent climate change.
"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". They note that continued improvement in standards of living around the world will require more energy, not less, and that it is imperative that Microsoft enables energy companies to transition, including to renewable energy and to the development and use of negative emission technologies like carbon capture and storage and direct air capture.
The company revealed a seven-point plan to help achieve its goals, including always looking at the best available science and maths on carbon reduction, developing digital technology to help its customers and suppliers reduce their carbon footprints and supporting new public policy initiatives to speed up carbon reduction and removal.
Following his announcement and speech about Microsoft's CFO Amy Hood on carbon footprint reduction, President Brad Smith and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa are leaving the patio Thursday, January 16, 2020 in Redmond, Wash.
Even so, the efforts of a single company won't be enough.
The company said it intends to take action on several types of emissions, including direct and electrical and heat use, but also the indirect carbon emissions that come from things like manufacturing, materials in its buildings and the electricity consumers use when deploying Microsoft products. "Not just across our direct emissions, but across our supply chain too". "That's why we are committed to continuing to work with all our customers, including those in the oil and gas business, to help them meet today's business demands while innovating together to achieve the business needs of a net zero carbon future".
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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. Somewhere, we're sure, lurks a steaming pile of Microsoft Bob boxes needing to be, er, sequestrated in a deep dark pit.
These efforts, if extended to 2050, will have removed the company's carbon emissions since its founding back in 1975, company officials claimed, although that plan will depend, in part, on some carbon-removal technologies not yet available. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said climate change is "almost invariably the top issue that clients around the world raise with BlackRock".
However, Microsoft also noted that as more people adopt negative emissions technology, the technology will become cheaper.
Since 2012, Microsoft has forced its divisions to set budgets that take account of the cost of emissions created through electricity use, business travel and other activities.
It was not immediately clear if the figures reported by the companies were exactly comparable.
They arrive as the sector overall is increasingly under pressure from activists over its emissions and work with oil industry clients.