Microsoft pledges deep emissions cuts

Microsoft announced that it intends to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030. As one of the companies to sign the “We Are Still In Declaration”, Microsoft is committed to the Paris Agreement despite recent moves by the Trump Administration to withdraw from the global climate accords.

The global technology giant made a major announcement this week: it plans to cut its operational carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 compared to 2013 levels. It intends to achieve these ambitious targets through continued progress against its carbon neutrality and renewable energy commitments, as well as increased investments in energy efficiency.

Microsoft is no stranger to climate action. The company set its first carbon emissions target in 2009, and in 2012 it become one of the first companies to put an internal global carbon fee in place, enabling it to operate 100 per cent carbon neutral. Last year it put in place targets to get more energy from renewable sources.

But Wednesday’s announcement, made from the blog of Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, takes its climate commitments to a new level. According to Smith, the 75 per cent carbon reduction will avoid more than 10 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

“This puts Microsoft on a path, as a company, to meet the goals set in the Paris climate agreement, which is a level of decarbonization that many scientists believe is necessary to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.”

According to Smith, renewable energy will play an important role as Microsoft expands its global cloud infrastructure. He calls it a clean power source that also gives the company “better financial predictability”. Microsoft’s cloud-based programmes to reduce resource consumption have already contributed to a 20 per cent reduction in energy use at its facilities.

“As a global company, the changes we make in how we operate our business and the goals we set have a worldwide impact,” wrote Smith.

“It’s our hope that this pledge inspires others to join us in setting targets, and provides confidence to governments, companies and individuals that it’s possible for entities to help reach the goals set in the Paris climate agreement. By raising our ambitions and taking these actions, our goal is to help make the future more sustainable and beneficial to everyone.”


Image credit: efes via Pixabay

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