Big Tech Flies Too Much
Five of the ten largest buyers of corporate air travel in the US are technology companies. Microsoft and other Big Tech firms owe it to the planet – and to their shareholders – to commit to maintain permanently their pandemic-affected 2020 flight levels.
FUNAFUTI, TUVALU –Last year, Microsoft announced that it will be carbon-negative by 2030. “If we don’t curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb,” the firm said on its official blog, “science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.” Microsoft deserves credit for publicly discussing the climate crisis, being transparent about its own greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, and at least having some sort of plan to reduce them.
But the elephant in the room is that Microsoft is one of the top ten corporate buyers of commercial flights in the United States. Before the pandemic, in the financial year 2019, the firm’s business travel alone accounted for 392,557 metric tons of GHG emissions.
That’s far more than my entire Pacific island country emits in a year. Tuvalu is well known for its vulnerability to the effects of climate change. We contribute almost nothing to global GHG emissions, but their consequences affect us on a monthly or even daily basis.