Elon Musk pledges $100 million for new X Prize carbon removal competition

Elon Musk is placing up $100 million as a part of a brand new X Prize Basis competitors centered on carbon elimination expertise. The competition, introduced Monday morning, will run for 4 years and is open to groups across the globe.

Fifteen groups will probably be chosen for the competitors inside 18 months. They are going to every get $1 million, and 25 separate $200,000 scholarships will probably be given to pupil groups who enter. The grand prize winner will probably be awarded $50 million, second place will obtain $20 million, and third place will get $10 million.

Winners should “reveal an answer that may pull carbon dioxide instantly from the ambiance or oceans and lock it away completely in an environmentally benign means,” based on the X Prize Basis. Judges will probably be in search of options that would take away one ton of CO2 per day that may scale to gigaton ranges. Full competitors tips will probably be revealed on April twenty second.

“We wish to make a very significant influence. Carbon negativity, not neutrality,” Musk says in an announcement. “This isn’t a theoretical competitors; we would like groups that may construct actual methods that may make a measurable influence and scale to a gigaton degree. No matter it takes. Time is of the essence.”

Musk first announced that he was donating money towards a prize in January, not lengthy after he handed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. When that occurred, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO requested his thousands and thousands of Twitter followers for “methods to donate cash that basically make a distinction.” The $100 million is coming from Musk’s personal basis. This donation roughly doubles the amount he has publicly given away thus far by the Musk Basis.

Carbon elimination expertise is an costly concept that’s nonetheless unproven at scale, with choices starting from funding reforestation tasks to bodily pulling the greenhouse fuel out of the air. However it’s become fashionable because the world heats up. It’s particularly widespread amongst main firms. Final yr, Stripe made it attainable for companies that use its fee processing platform to funnel portions of their proceeds towards the development of carbon removal tech.

Maybe most notably, Microsoft announced in 2020 that it needed to seize the equal of all of the carbon dioxide it’s ever emitted. The corporate pledged $1 billion towards the hassle.

Final month, we acquired the primary glimpse at the slight progress Microsoft has made toward that goal. The corporate bought contracts to seize 1.3 million metric tons of CO2, or simply 11 p.c of its whole emissions for 2020 alone.

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