Jul 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Big Tech's climate plans come into focus

Illustration of the Microsoft logo splitting the earth into four sections

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech giants' climate pledges are getting bigger and, more importantly, at least somewhat more specific.

Driving the news: Microsoft yesterday unveiled new info about implementing its January vow to be "carbon negative" by 2030 and help its customers and suppliers cut emissions too.

Why it matters: Ambitious, long-term climate goals are becoming more common from major corporations, but the pathway to meeting them is often vague. So any efforts to start filling in the blanks are worth watching.

What's next: The company, which also hopes to remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than it has emitted since its 1975 founding by 2050, announced a bunch of steps including...

  • An imminent request for proposals for carbon removal projects to finance, the latest step in fledgling corporate efforts to spur deployment of negative emissions tech.
  • Launch of a new corporate coalition called Transform to Net Zero, with founding members including Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Maersk. It's designed to help provide info and resources to transform climate goals — increasingly common in the private sector — into concrete steps.
  • A $50 million investment in the clean-energy focused VC firm Energy Impact Partners, the first outlay from the $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund announced in January.
  • A partnership with Sol Systems, a renewable energy development and finance firm, to develop 500 megawatts with a focus on "communities disproportionately affected by environmental challenges."

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