Microsoft believes it can reclaim all the carbon it has ever released into the atmosphere in 2050, perhaps the most powerful climate promise ever made by a technology company.
The PC giant believes it can become CO2 negative by 2030, which means it will have a net positive effect on the environment. That, and the subsequent goal, requires the company to do everything it can to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
To help achieve this goal, Microsoft is setting up a $ 1 billion Climate Innovation Fund, which it plans to spend the next four years. That money will be invested in low carbon innovation.
At a specially convened event on Thursday (via VentureBeat), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “The scientific consensus is clear, today's world is facing an urgent carbon crisis.
"If we do not reduce emissions and the temperatures continue to rise, we know that the results will be devastating. Each of us will have to take action. And so will companies. No company can solve this macro challenge alone, but as a global technology company, we have a special responsibility to deliver our share, so today we are announcing an ambitious new plan to help address the sustainability of our planet and today we are committed to making Microsoft CO2 negative by 2030. "
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Microsoft's daring commitment throws the glove on to the other major technology companies, including Apple, Google and Samsung. We would call Amazon in the same breath, but Jeff Bezos still sends SD cards in boxes that can store most of his fortune in gold while he plays space man.
Microsoft has been CO2 neutral since 2012, but committing to nullifying its historical impact may be a goal that other technical giants may have to follow. Whether it is feasible can be somewhat irrelevant if others follow the example.