IT industry ensures huge carbon dioxide emissions with high energy requirements and Microsoft now wants to take responsibility for its emissions by 2030 and clear all carbon it generated and become carbon-negative in 2050.
Microsoft wants to make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate. By 2030 at the latest, the software company wants to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it produces and be ‘carbon-free’, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella announced on Thursday in Redmond. And by 2050, Microsoft wants to remove all the carbon from the environment that the company has generated either directly or through power consumption since its establishment in 1975.
The background to the Microsoft initiative is the fact that the IT industry has so far made a significant contribution to CO2 emissions and thus to climate change due to the large electricity demand. According to some studies, the internet alone with cloud applications like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure and streaming services like Netflix, releases more CO2 than the global aviation industry.
Nadella admitted that there are still processes available to remove very large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. Microsoft would therefore set up a fund of 1 billion dollars to promote the development of techniques and methods on becoming “CO2 negative”. The company will rely on techniques including reforestation, carbon sequestration from the soil, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage characteristics, and direct aerial photography.
Microsoft partners and suppliers will also be involved in the initiative. From 2021, the CO2 reduction will be explicitly taken into account when selecting suppliers. Internally, Microsoft will introduce a CO2 levy of $15 per tonne of CO 2 , which will actually be charged to every department in internal billing.
When planting trees and developing processes for CO2 reduction, the main thing is that they can also be used on a large scale and they are affordable. Microsoft thinks these should also be made commercially available and verifiable. “Given the current state of technology and pricing, we will initially focus on nature-based solutions,” Microsoft said in a blog post. By 2050, efforts will be made to switch to technology-based solutions if they become more profitable.
“Reducing carbon is the goal the world must achieve,” said Nadella. “This is a daring bet – a” Moonshot “- for Microsoft.” It will not be easy for his company to become carbon negative by 2030. “But we believe that it is the right goal.”