Microsoft president says this is the next ‘tidal wave’ among companies in 2020s

'You’re going to see company after company stepping forward'

Climate change is in on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and will be a key issue for companies in the next decade, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith.

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Microsoft is taking the lead in this initiative by pledging to become “carbon negative” by 2030. The technology company plans to remove all of its “direct and electricity-based historical carbon emissions” from the environment by 2050, Smith told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday.

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Smith believes tackling environmental issues like this will be a “tidal wave” among American companies throughout the decade.

“You’re going to see company after company stepping forward, raising its ambition [and] doing more,” he said.

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Becoming carbon-negative means Microsoft will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits every year, according to the company. It will do this by shifting totally to renewable energy, electrifying all vehicles on their global campuses, and adopting “negative emission technologies” — potentially including reforestation.

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“We’ll be 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2025 for all of our data centers and the like,” Smith said.

Microsoft also plans to expand the carbon tax program it has implemented, according to Smith. It charges the various parts of the company a fee for their carbon emissions, then uses those funds to cut the company’s overall emissions. This, he said, covers Microsoft’s supply chains.

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“We’ll cut our supply chain emissions by more than half by 2030,” Smith said.

Smith’s company has a $1 billion fund to invest in accelerating technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

“We understand our customers care about this and we want to work with them. Digital technology should be one of the great enablers for addressing climate needs, literally around the world,” Smith said.

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