Tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet, and consulting and advisory firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced a series of carbon removal commitments today, with Microsoft and Alphabet collectively pledging to invest $400 million in carbon removal programs, and BCG targeting the removal of 100,000 tonnes of carbon by 2030.

The announcements, along with a $100 million carbon removal investment pledge today from Salesforce, were made at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, as part of an initiative from the First Movers Coalition (FMC), a coalition of companies committed to creating early markets for clean technologies addressing hard-to-abate sectors.

FMC was launched at the COP26 climate conference last year, creating a coalition of companies committed to creating early markets for clean technologies addressing hard-to-abate sectors. By setting major advanced purchase commitments to be met by 2030, the coalition sends strong market signals enabling the scaling and commercialization of clean technologies including near-zero carbon steel, aluminum, shipping, trucking and aviation, as well as advanced carbon dioxide removal solutions.

The coalition announced several high profile member additions today, including Microsoft and Alphabet, along with EY, FedEx, Ford and PWC, among others.* With the new additions, the coalition now includes over 50 member companies representing a collective market value of approximately $8.5 trillion.

Carbon removal is emerging as a key tool in the fight to address climate change, although most technologies and solutions to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere remain at fairly early stages. According to the landmark IPCC climate change mitigation study released earlier this year, scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C include carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods scaling to billions of tons of removal annually over the coming decades.

Christoph Schweizer, BCG’s global CEO, said:

“The growth of the First Movers Coalition is a significant market signal to drive the acceleration of zero-carbon technologies. These technologies are already proven to work, but need to be rapidly scaled to reach our 2050 climate goals.”

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, added:

“The coalition’s members are truly the ‘First Movers’ who are focused on scaling disruptive innovations that pave the way for long-term transformation rather than the lower-hanging fruit of short-term process efficiency gains. Once the tipping point is reached in the market, the First Movers Coalition will demonstrate that a net- or near-zero transformation across the value chain is not only possible but that it will be no more expensive than the high-emitting alternative.”

*New First Movers Coalition members announced today: AES, Alphabet, Aveva, Ball Corporation, BHP, Consolidated Contractors Company, Ecolab, Enel, EY, FedEx, Ford Motor Company, HeidelbergCement, Microsoft, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, National Grid, Novelis, PWC, Schneider Electric, Swiss Re and Vestas.