Microsoft said that it would become "carbon negative" by 2030 as part of a ramped-up effort by the US tech giant to combat climate change.
The company said the move would remove from the environment by 2050 all the carbon emissions it has created since it was founded in 1975.
Microsoft, one of the world's most valuable companies, said in a blog post that it has been carbon neutral since 2012 but that "neutral is not enough to address the world's needs" to fight the effects of climate change.
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Several tech companies, including Google and Apple, have committed to carbon neutrality and Amazon has said it would meet that goal by 2040.
Last month, British-based utility Drax said it would become the first company in the world to be carbon negative, or removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it creates, by 2030.
Microsoft said it would invest $1 billion in a new "climate innovation fund" for technology for carbon capture and removal.
The move comes amid growing concerns that climate change is accelerating, and data showing the past decade was the hottest on record.
"While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so," Microsoft said of its initiative.
"Reducing carbon is where the world needs to go, and we recognise that it's what our customers and employees are asking us to pursue. This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft. And it will need to become a moonshot for the world."
The National Capital Region (NCR) and the main cities in India have been suffering from severe air pollution over the last few years, especially during winter. Earlier in December 2019, New Delhi – home to nearly 20 million people, declared a health emergency after its air quality registered a 500 AQI-plus pollution level.
The crisis even drew the attention of celebrated Hollywood actor and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who took to Instagram to amplify the voices of Indian citizens demanding action to deal with the toxic air pollution in the country, especially in the national capital.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
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