Microsoft inks historic carbon removal deal

Source: By Corbin Hiar, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The agreement with a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum represents the world’s largest direct air capture contract by volume.

The logo of Microsoft is seen outside the company's French headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, on May 13.

The logo of Microsoft is seen outside the company’s French headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, on May 13. Thibault Camus/AP

Microsoft is doubling down on technologies that filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as the corporate giant struggles to limit its own emissions.

Microsoft will purchase 500,000 tons of carbon removal credits over six years from a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, the companies announced Tuesday. It’s the world’s largest direct air capture deal by volume and represents the maximum annual removal capacity of Stratos, Occidental’s first commercial-scale plant, which is scheduled to come online next year.

Microsoft owns an equity stake in direct air capture pioneer Climeworks and last year purchased removals from Heirloom, which is collaborating with Climeworks on an Energy Department-backed DAC hub planned for Louisiana. The tech giant hasn’t previously purchased removal credits from Occidental.

“To achieve the gigatons of removals needed this century, first-of-a-kind projects like STRATOS are essential to move from pilots to scale,” Brian Marrs, who works on carbon removal and energy at Microsoft, said in a statement. “DAC plays an important role in Microsoft’s carbon removal portfolio supporting our broader goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030.”

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