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Photo: Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft vowed Thursday to be "carbon negative" by 2030 and announced new plans to fund emerging technologies and methods that pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Why it matters: Those plans and other climate efforts Microsoft rolled out are perhaps the strongest among Big Tech companies.

  • They arrive as the sector overall is increasingly under pressure from activists over its emissions and work with oil industry clients.

The big picture: Microsoft said its pledge to be carbon negative — that is, spur removal of more CO2 than it produces — would apply not only to its direct operations and energy supplies, but also the far larger carbon output from use of its products in the economy and other indirect emissions.

  • In addition, Microsoft said that by 2050 it will "remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975."

The company's new efforts include...

  • Expanding its internal carbon tax to apply to its supply and value chains, not just emissions from its direct operations.
  • Creating a $1 billion fund to "accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies."
  • New efforts to help suppliers and customers reduce their carbon footprints, and making carbon-cutting an "explicit" aspect of their procurement.

The state of play: A UN-led scientific report in 2018 concluded that pathways for holding temperature rise to 1.5°C require some level of carbon removal — not just steeply cutting and preventing emissions.

  • Carbon removal methods include "direct air capture" technologies, large-scale forest planting and restoration, bio-energy coupled with carbon capture and storage, and more.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
39 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.

Jan. 6 panel asks Ivanka Trump to cooperate with investigation

Former President Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot sent a letter Thursday to Ivanka Trump requesting her cooperation with the investigation.

Driving the news: "We write to request your voluntary cooperation with our investigation on a range of critical topics," the chair wrote in a letter to the former president's daughter.

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