Microsoft will spend $100+ million reducing the impact of AI on the planet

Microsoft has signed a contract with Occidental Petroleum to purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of carbon dioxide removal 'credits.'

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Microsoft is looking to combat its sharp increase in CO2 emissions, which have been caused by the creation of new datacenters to power the ever-growing AI industry.

Microsoft will spend $100+ million reducing the impact of AI on the planet 5556615

It was quite some time ago Microsoft announced its goal of becoming carbon-negative by 2030, but since that announcement, artificial intelligence has emerged, and while the new technology is incredibly impressive, it's also extremely energy-demanding. With the rise of these datacenters and, as a result, CO2 emissions, Microsoft is looking at ways to offset its carbon footprint, and according to reports, Redmond is ready to put down hundreds of millions to do so.

Microsoft has signed a deal with Occidental Petroleum to buy 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal "credits" over the course of six years, and according to The Financial Times, the deal is "worth hundreds of millions of dollars". At the moment, the specifics of the deal haven't been made public. So, how do carbon credits work?

A carbon credit is an official way of offsetting one's carbon emissions by purchasing emission reductions from a third party. As for this deal, 1PointFive, the carbon capture and sequestration arm of Occidental Petroleum, says it includes reductions such as Direct Air Capture (DAC), which is a method that directly takes carbon out of the atmosphere.

"A commitment of this magnitude demonstrates how one of the world's largest corporations is integrating scalable Direct Air Capture into its net zero strategy. Energy demand across the technology industry is increasing, and we believe Direct Air Capture is uniquely suited to remove residual emissions and further climate goals," says 1PointFive President and General Manager Michael Avery

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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