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Utilizing our voice to advance carbon and electrical energy coverage

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We imagine that Microsoft and the broader personal sector have an essential function to play in advocating for efficient and revolutionary sustainability coverage. Once we introduced our dedication in 2020 to develop into carbon destructive by 2030, we pledged to make use of our voice on public coverage points to assist to advance international decarbonization efforts.

At this time, we’re publishing briefs on carbon and electrical energy coverage to share the priorities and rules that information Microsoft’s coverage advocacy work all over the world. The rules we set forth are grounded in our give attention to reaching tangible outcomes, enabling a versatile fairly than one-size-fits-all method, and recognizing the essential function that digital applied sciences will play as we increase market alternatives for all. We’re releasing these two coverage briefs collectively to underscore the integral and complementary function that electrical energy coverage performs in addressing local weather change. We additionally acknowledge that there are important vitality points that transcend local weather change resembling the provision of electrical energy for all, affordability and environmental justice. Equally, there are carbon points that transcend vitality. As we deal with these points in parallel, we’re aware that our coverage work might want to increase sooner or later and take into account these coverage briefs as foundations for future work on points like water and waste.

We perceive that public insurance policies will play a important function, each in creating indicators to spur the financial and social transition required to handle local weather change and in constructing the foundations of markets to develop and ship revolutionary items, providers and expertise to attain that transition. Nonetheless, there’s a rising hole between the tempo of desired coverage outcomes and financial and scientific indicators that present accelerating local weather impacts. To assist shut this hole and help communities and firms of their efforts to attain their local weather pledges, governments all over the world have to speed up coverage motion.

Over the previous two years, we have now advocated for local weather and vitality investments as a part of the current U.S. infrastructure and local weather legal guidelines, a sturdy and constant framework for local weather disclosure necessities by the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee (SEC), and a complete European Union (EU) decarbonization plan, to call just some. As we increase our advocacy efforts, we are going to use the next priorities and rules to information our engagement on carbon and electrical energy coverage worldwide

Carbon policy

Over the previous decade, a median of at the very least 170 new climate-related legal guidelines have come into impact all over the world every year. A number of overlapping elements are driving each the tempo and path of climate-related insurance policies. Chief amongst them is strain on policymakers from the general public, NGOs and companies, in addition to more and more seen indications of a altering local weather (together with wildfires, droughts, warmth waves, and extreme storms and flooding), driving an elevated sense of urgency for near-term motion. Moreover, there’s rising curiosity from buyers and clients in corporations delivering extra climate-friendly items and providers.

Insurance policies to mitigate local weather change by addressing greenhouse fuel (GHG; usually referred to in shorthand as carbon) emissions could be organized into three core areas: carbon reporting, carbon discount and carbon elimination.

Carbon reporting: Whereas many alternative steps are required to succeed in international net-zero emissions, all of them depend on a typical basis that ensures carbon emissions are measured in an correct, constant, interoperable and dependable method globally. If governments, NGOs and companies all over the world don’t measure carbon emissions in the identical approach, they’re more likely to speak previous one another, create confusion and in the end set unrealistic expectations in regards to the tempo of progress.

We help new company carbon disclosure and procurement reporting insurance policies that: (1) drive constant, sturdy and interoperable GHG reporting metrics; (2) promote complete but versatile company GHG disclosures; and (3) benefit from new applied sciences to calculate and observe emissions and local weather impacts.

Carbon discount: To realize net-zero emissions by mid-century, governments have to put in place extra insurance policies to cut back carbon emissions. These insurance policies will range throughout geographies. Some approaches will give attention to economy-wide options resembling an emissions buying and selling scheme (ETS) – or “cap and commerce” – by which the federal government points or auctions licenses to emit a hard and fast quantity of GHG emissions for particular industries, and recipients with spare capability can commerce licenses to these anticipating to exceed their allowance. Different insurance policies will goal particular sectors like energy technology, constructing, transportation, aviation and agriculture, with governments utilizing totally different coverage levers to decrease every sector’s footprint. The trail to net-zero emissions is closely influenced by a rustic’s stage of financial improvement and pure useful resource combine. Improvements in financing mechanisms, know-how design and deployment approaches, and participation fashions might help nations within the International South, which can be originally phases of local weather mitigation and adaptation journeys, to advance instantly past conventional carbon-intensive infrastructure.

We help new carbon discount insurance policies that: (1) help a broad, outcome-based, multisector toolkit; (2) double down on grid decarbonization whereas incentivizing discount in hard-to-abate sectors; and (3) design for empowered development.

Carbon elimination:  We’re seeing rising urgency in scaling the carbon elimination market. An August 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC) requires the world to take away within the area of 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide (or its equal) yearly within the second half of this century – and to make fast progress instantly. Crucially, this should be in tandem with, and never as a alternative for, unprecedented carbon emissions reductions. Authorities coverage can play an essential function in constructing markets for high-quality and sturdy carbon elimination.

We help new carbon elimination insurance policies that concentrate on: (1) driving clear accounting and high-quality requirements; (2) prioritizing extremely sturdy options: and (3) participating native and impacted communities.

Electrical energy coverage

Electrical energy is an enabler of financial improvement, social welfare, improved well being and different optimistic societal outcomes. In an more and more interconnected, technology-driven international economic system, the demand for dependable electrical energy will proceed to develop.

There are three dimensions of this want for electrical energy which are essential to think about.

First, regardless of the indispensable function of electrical energy, we nonetheless reside in a world the place greater than 770 million folks reside with out entry to electrical energy (largely in Africa and Asia). Financial development in these areas requires the event of a dependable electrical grid. Second, the diversification of renewable and carbon free vitality sources and the modernization of {the electrical} purpose are important to assembly the world’s decarbonization targets. At this time, fossil fuels produce 61% of electrical energy within the US, almost 70% within the Asia Pacific area and important parts on different grids all over the world. Third, entry to renewable vitality on a worldwide foundation has develop into essential to Microsoft’s personal enterprise. The datacenters that energy our international cloud providers rely upon having a dependable, constant, versatile and resilient provide of electrical energy in each nation the place we function. On the similar time, Microsoft has a number of the world’s most formidable local weather and clear vitality commitments, together with our dedication to be carbon destructive by 2030 and procure sufficient renewable vitality to cowl 100% of our electrical energy use by 2025.

In line with McKinsey & Firm, international electrical energy demand will triple by 2050, a rise pushed by each electrification and enhancements in residing requirements. Current analysis exhibits that, in america alone, the availability of electrical energy might want to increase by 60% by 2030 and triple in dimension by 2050. Disruptions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have highlighted the significance of reasonably priced vitality safety and the benefit of electrical energy technology that doesn’t rely upon gasoline to make sure the reliability of the European grid. Ice storms, fires and warmth waves have put grids all over the world below large stress. These grids are coming below strain proper on the time that they’re changing into a obligatory basis of transformation to impress the economic system and improve entry to carbon-free vitality – underscoring the necessity for pressing motion.

Our public coverage advocacy referring to {the electrical} grid is concentrated on three pillars. These search to help an expanded, sturdy, dependable and carbon-free grid by: (1) accelerating the transition to wash electrical energy technology; (2) modernizing and bettering grid infrastructure; and (3) encouraging an equitable vitality future.

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Accelerating the transition to wash electrical energy technology: To increase carbon-free provide to energy our rising operations and to energy native grids all over the world, we’re supporting insurance policies that promote a various zero-carbon vitality combine for a dependable, resilient and versatile grid. This contains the usage of wind, photo voltaic, hydro, nuclear and inexperienced hydrogen energy. We’re additionally supporting insurance policies that may allow the grid to reply flexibly to modifications in provide and demand – for instance, utilizing storage know-how to dispatch zero-carbon electrical energy on demand on grids with a excessive stage of variable renewable vitality. We imagine probably the most appropriate coverage design – regulatory caps, clear vitality requirements, tax incentives, subsidies and/or public procurement – could range vastly between nations.

We help insurance policies that: (1) promote a various zero-carbon vitality combine for a dependable, resilient and versatile grid; (2) replace electrical energy market design and worth indicators to increase participation; and (3) advance R&D investments to ship the clear vitality applied sciences of the longer term.

Modernizing and bettering grid infrastructure: Along with including clear vitality capability, grid administration should develop into extra dynamic as bigger volumes of renewable vitality and distributed sources are deployed and carbon-emitting vitality sources are retired. As zero-carbon sources are added to the grid at an accelerated tempo, the community of wires that may ship that electrical energy to properties and companies should additionally considerably increase.

We help insurance policies that: (1) prioritize and useful resource transmission planning and siting to increase vitality supply; (2) simplify the allowing course of to expedite clear vitality grid interconnections; and (3) advance the usage of digital know-how, together with AI, to handle, optimize, stabilize and shield the grid.

Encouraging an equitable vitality future: Lastly, the clear vitality transition wants a brand new technique for neighborhood and stakeholder engagement that ensures participation for these which were traditionally impacted by carbon-intensive vitality improvement and people who stand to learn probably the most from the enlargement of {the electrical} grid. There is a chance to use new zero-carbon vitality greatest practices in nations which are constructing out their grids for the primary time.

We help insurance policies that: (1) help and amplify the voice of impacted communities; (2) design vitality for an equitable begin within the International South; and (3) implement measures to maintain electrical energy prices reasonably priced and equitable.


Public coverage will play a important function within the international net-zero transition. Microsoft has a longstanding historical past of environmental sustainability motion and advocacy, and we view it as each our accountability and a possibility to make use of our voice to help the insurance policies that we imagine can have the best impression.

To learn the coverage briefs, please go to:



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