We believe the world needs a bold ambition and a broad vision for the future of carbon accounting and the SEC has a vital role to play.

We fully believe the world needs to create a net-zero carbon economy by the year 2050. While many different steps are required, they all rely on a common foundation that ensures carbon emissions are measured in an accurate, consistent and reliable manner globally. In short, if we don't all measure carbon emissions the same way, we're likely to talk past each other, create confusion and ultimately delude ourselves about the pace of progress. Within Microsoft, we often talk about our own "carbon accounting." It may not be the most dramatic aspect of the world's carbon crisis, but it's an indispensable early step on the path to progress. To read Microsoft's full comments and why the company believes the process is so important, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

In 2017, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Airband Initiative to expand broadband access in rural America. Last week, the company expanded Airband to U.S. cities that face some of the largest broadband gaps among racial and ethnic minorities, specifically Black and African American communities. The approach focuses on providing access to affordable broadband, devices and digital skilling tools and resources in eight cities, including aiding in the digital transformation of the institutions that support these communities. The initial work will extend access to communities in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee and New York City. To read more about racial and digital inequity and how Microsoft is addressing it, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Microsoft's roots in Central America are not only deep but broad. We opened our first office in Guatemala in 1995 and soon followed in El Salvador and Honduras. Through our presence and work in this region, we've developed a deeper understanding and perspective on the root causes of the waves of migrants coming from Central America's Northern Triangle. The countries that comprise this region each have their own unique economies and cultures but share some common challenges that have contributed to this migration.

Strong U.S. leadership is critical. That's why we have wholeheartedly answered the Call to Action by Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House to build on our presence and commitment to this region by joining 12 global companies and organizations to promote economic opportunity. To read about Microsoft's commitment, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

The 2021 session of the Washington State Legislature will undoubtedly be remembered for its business being conducted virtually, with few lawmakers and staff in attendance at the capitol campus and the remainder participating in committee and floor activities remotely. Even with the unique setup, the more important long-term impacts will be the result not of how decisions were made, but because of what those decisions were.

There was notable progress in several key areas: Covid-19 response and recovery; promoting racial equity; combating climate change; reforming the criminal justice system; creating affordable housing; and expanding educational opportunities. The state's capabilities in cyber resilience were enhanced, funds were contributed to expanding broadband coverage and voting rights have been restored for thousands of Washingtonians. Read more about the latest from Washington State and Microsoft's support for it on Microsoft on the Issues.

On May 18, GZERO Media and Microsoft hosted a panel, "Beyond SolarWinds: Securing Cyberspace" which explored the cyber challenges facing governments, companies, and citizens. Juliette Kayyem, Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Homeland Security, moderated the conversation with Microsoft President Brad Smith and other global experts. Watch this Munich Security Conference "Road to Munich" event on demand above.

Next Tuesday, join GZERO Media and Microsoft for a live event, Beyond SolarWinds: Securing Cyberspace, exploring cyber challenges facing governments, companies, and citizens. Watch this Munich Security Conference "Road to Munich" event on May 18, 1pm EDT / 10am PDT. Juliette Kayyem, Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Homeland Security, will moderate the conversation featuring Microsoft President Brad Smith and other global experts.

Sign up to get email reminders about this and other Global Stage events. On Tuesday, visit gzeromedia.com/globalstage to watch live.

One year ago, Microsoft launched an Open Data Campaign to help close the data divide between those countries and companies that have the data they need to innovate and those that do not. We learned quickly that this continued divide risks leaving some people behind, without the ability to put data to work and without the ability to generate economic wealth and opportunity more broadly. To address the challenges of tomorrow, we need to make it easier to open, share and collaborate around data today. That's why we're sharing 10 key lessons from the first year of our campaign to help other organizations of all sizes unlock the power of data. To read about the lessons and updates on progress, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

Open data is being used to help us understand the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the last year, we've become familiar with the news alerts about the number of new cases each day or week; the number of deaths; and, more recently and optimistically in the United States, the number of vaccinations available. All of this is data and it is being shared by states and public health authorities to enhance broad understanding of this virus and its impact on us all. In April 2020, Microsoft announced the Open Data Campaign, which encourages an approach to data that is as open as possible to reap social, economic and environmental benefits. Just like a good idea becomes a great idea when it is worked on collaboratively, data's value grows exponentially when it is used to create life-changing solutions.

Visit Microsoft On the Issues to read stories that help explain the value of open data, and celebrate achievements brought about by the open sharing of data around the world.