When companies buy carbon offsets and call themselves carbon-neutral, it feels like a bit of a cop-out. The fact is they still produce emissions and use the money they make while creating those emissions to fund projects that absorb carbon. But until companies find ways to actually make their operations carbon-free, then carbon offsets are the next big thing companies can do.
Speaking of which, Microsoft plans to remove all of the carbon dioxide it has ever released into the atmosphere by 2050. The company committed to becoming carbon negative by 2030, meaning that it plans to draw down more planet-heating carbon dioxide than it emits.
The technology needed to make that goal a reality is still expensive and not widely commercially available, so the company also plans to spend $1 billion over the next four years to fund innovation in reducing, capturing, and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As far as carbon offsetting goes, Microsoft’s commitment is by far the most audacious to date.