Microsoft has joined a conservative-led group that demands fossil fuel companies be granted legal immunity from attempts to claw back damages from the climate change they helped cause. The stated goals of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) include a $40-a-ton fee on carbon dioxide emissions in return for the gutting of current climate change regulations and "protecting companies from federal and state tort liability for historic emissions". Microsoft has become the first technology company to join the CLC, which includes oil giants BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips among its founding members. Handing legal immunity to these oil companies would squash a cavalcade of recent climate lawsuits launched by cities and counties across the US, including one by King county, Washington, where Microsoft is based. "When Microsoft is underwater it should ask itself if this is a good deal," said Matthew Pawa, a lawyer representing King county, which includes Seattle, in its lawsuit against five major oil companies.
In this May 6, 2019 file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers in Seattle. Microsoft and other tech giants have been competing to strike lucrative partnerships with ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and other energy firms. One employee stood up to ask Microsoft CEO Nadella about the ethics of the company's oil and gas contracts at an all-staff meeting in Sept. 2019, and Nadella defended the partnerships. Employee activism and outside pressure have pushed big tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google promising to slash their carbon emissions. When Microsoft held an all-staff meeting in September, an employee asked CEO Satya Nadella if it was ethical for the company to be selling its cloud computing services to fossil fuel companies, according to two other Microsoft employees who described the exchange on condition they not be named.
"I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act on changing the climate"– Greta Thunberg Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl, who is famously called as a climate change warrior. She has started an international youth movement against climate change and has been nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019 for climate activism. According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC), climate change is seen as the top global threat by many countries.
Online retail giant Amazon has announced plans to make alf if its shipments carbon neutral by the year 2030. The company, which ships millions of packages a year to shoppers, said that it will achieve that goal by switching to renewable energy sources and by asking suppliers to reimagine their packaging. So, Amazon will be relying more on solar energy, and hopes to find way to cut packaging waste like other big companies including McDonald and Coca-Cola have announced. The company will also push for more deliveries to be made using electric vans. "It won't be easy to achieve this goal, but it's worth being focused and stubborn on this vision and we're committed to seeing it through," Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, said.
When companies look to reduce their environmental impacts, they very quickly realise that there is a limit to what they can achieve by focusing solely on their own operations. For many businesses, their main impacts on issues such as resource scarcity, water and energy use come either through how their products are used once they have been sold or in their supply chains. It used to be thought that there was nothing a customer could do about its suppliers' business practices and impact on the environment, but there is a growing realisation that purchasing organisations have the power to change the way their suppliers behave. Nowhere is this more evident than in the latest report on supply chains by CDP, the global environmental data platform. The Missing link: Harnessing the power of purchasing for a sustainable future report reveals that suppliers cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 434m tonnes in 2016, more than the annual emissions of France, saving themselves $12.4bn in the process, double the amount of savings revealed the year before.