Microsoft has outlined steps that it plans to take to become carbon negative by 2030 which includes removing 1 million metric tons of carbon from the environment this fiscal year. Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric constituent playing several roles in the environment.
But there is clear scientific consensus that the world confronts multifarious problems owing to rising carbon emissions. Scientists have confirmed that human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.
The impact of this is quantified by the rise in global temperature by 1-degree centigrade. If we don’t curb emissions then it is likely to see a rise in temperature and without doubt, the results will be catastrophic.
Microsoft: Carbon negative by 2030
Microsoft has stated in its blog page: “While the world needs to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s Carbon Footprint.”
They have drawn a plan to ensure that by 2030 the company will become carbon negative and by 2050 it will remove from the environment all the carbon that it has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.
Principal approaches adopted by Microsoft
Seven principles or elements will be vital to their carbon negative target.
1. They plan to ground their work in the best available science and most accurate mathematics.
2. The global giant will take responsibility for all their emissions.
3. The company will spend $1 billion in a new climate Innovation fund to accelerate the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies that will help the world become carbon negative.
4. Perhaps most importantly, they will develop and deploy digital technology to help their suppliers and customers reduce their carbon footprints.
5. The company also proposes to publish an annual Environment Sustainability Report that provides transparency on their progress, based on strong global reporting standards.
6. Microsoft will support new policy initiatives to accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.
7. The company recognizes that its employees are their biggest asset in advancing innovation, and will create new opportunities to enable them to contribute to their efforts.
Responsibilities took up by Microsoft carbon footprint reduction
Microsoft has launched an aggressive plan to reduce its carbon emissions. It includes three broad components. First, they will drive down scope 1 and 2 emissions to near zero by the middle of this decade. In the second part, they will reduce scope 3 emissions by more than half by 2030. They will do it by taking new and required steps. All their business diversions will also pay an internal carbon fee for all scope 3 emissions. They will lower the price per ton than their current fee for emissions, but they will phase in increases over time until all their 1, 2, and 3 emissions are charged at the same rate.
This will both increase incentives across the company to reduce all scope 3 emissions and fund the added work to reduce their own scope 3 emissions and invest in carbon removal activities. By July 2021 the company proposes to begin implementing processes and tools to enable and incentivize their supplies to reduce their scope 1,2 and 3 emissions
Microsoft will form its carbon removal portfolio annually by asserting NET attributes about four criteria:
3. Commercial availability
Given the current state of technology and pricing, the company plans to initially focus on nature-based solutions. They will do it to shift to technology-based solutions between now and 2050, when they become more viable.
The world’s next moonshot
In its blog, Microsoft top brass have stated: “Reducing carbon is where the world needs to go. And we recognize that it’s what our customers and employees are asking us to pursue. This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft. And it will need to become a moonshot for the world.”