American entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk have offered a $100 million reward to anyone who comes up with a way to combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans.
“We currently have only one planet! Even if we have a 0.1 percent chance of disaster, why take the risk? It’s crazy!”, said Elon Musk, owner of carmaker Tesla.
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
Elon Musk offered a $100 million prize for carbon capture competition
Elon Musk announced the $100 million prize back in January, and on Earth Day, he issued instructions for the competition.
Organizers call the competition “the biggest stimulus prize in history” and it will run for four years, until Earth Day 2025.
“Capturing and storing” carbon is gaining more and more attention from researchers, at a time when glaciers are melting due to climate change, tropical storms are intensifying and the number of heat strokes is increasing.
World countries are working to reduce carbon emissions, but scientists say that on the way to the goal of zero emissions by 2050, technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere will play a very important role.
“The costs and the possibility of upgrading will be taken into account. Will enough carbon be removed and can we afford it as a civilization? These are things that matter.”, Elon Musk said in a video message of a barefoot man surrounded by trees.
Carbon removal projects have already received support from Silicon Valley startups, public officials concerned about slow emissions cuts, and high-emission companies interested in reducing them.
“I think that’s one of the things that takes time to find the right solution. And especially to find out what is the best economic solution for CO2 removal.”, Elon Musk said.
Elon Musk’s competition aims to find a solution to remove thousands of tons of atmosphere per year, with the potential for upgrading. Applicants must have a carbon removal plan at least one hundred years long. Organizers have announced they will review applications by mid-May.