We’ve heard plenty of carbon neutral pledges, but what in the world is carbon negative?

Each week we highlight news stories that take the edge off of coping with climate change. We feel it’s important to showcase what others are doing in order to build off of their successes.

Microsoft Pledges To Remove From The Atmosphere All The Carbon It’s Ever Emitted

By Camila Domonoske for NPR, January 16, 2020

  • Seattle-based tech-giant Microsoft announced a plan to go “carbon negative” by 2030, by using new technology to offset its cumulative carbon emissions dating back to 1975.
  • The plan relies heavily on carbon capture through planting trees and high-tech solutions like direct air capture. Per article: “Microsoft is pledging to create a $1 billion fund to invest in developing such technology, similar to other climate-focused funds (including one spearheaded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.)”
  • Although carbon-neutral pledges are becoming increasingly more common, Microsoft joins Ikea and several smaller companies in pledging to go “carbon negative.” Microsoft plans to track its progress publicly to remain accountable.

In ‘Strongest’ Climate Ruling Yet, Dutch Court Orders Leaders to Take Action

By John Schwartz for The New York Times, December 20, 2019

  • Netherlands’s Supreme Court ruled “the lives, well being and living circumstances” are being effected by the government’s inaction on climate change, and ordered the government to take stronger action.
  • Environmental group Urgenda – along with nearly 900 co-plaintiffs – began the lawsuit in 2013 and has since earned victories at three judicial levels.
  • From the article: “The Dutch case has already inspired similar suits against national governments in Europe — including in Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, Britain, Switzerland and Norway — and from plaintiffs around the world against the European Union, part of a larger trend of citizens seeking action from the courts on climate issues.”

EU unveils plan to dedicate a quarter of its budget fighting climate change with €1 trillion ‘green deal’

By Jon Stone for Independent, January 14, 2020

  • A plan to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 was unveiled by the European Commission. The plan calls for 1 trillion Euros (a quarter of the EU’s budget) to invest in transition mechanisms.
  • Per article: “To qualify for money, member states would have to put forward plans to restructure their economy on low-carbon lines, which would have to be signed off by the Commission.”
  • European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s hope is for the proposal to become law by March.