When Microsoft pledged four years ago to remove more carbon than it emits by the end of the decade, it was one of the most ambitious and comprehensive plans to tackle climate change. Now the software giant's relentless push to be the global leader in artificial intelligence is putting that goal in peril.

The Seattle-based company’s total planet-warming impact is about 30% higher today than it was in 2020, according to the latest sustainability report published Wednesday. That makes getting to below zero by 2030 even harder than it was when it announced its carbon-negative goal.

Now to meet its goals, the software giant will have to make serious progress very quickly in gaining access to green steel and concrete and less carbon-intensive chips, said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Green.