Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is teasing his latest philanthropic venture on Thursday: a competition aimed at promoting more innovative carbon capture technologies.
“I’m donating $ 100 million in prize money for best carbon capture technology,” Musk said, adding that he would provide “details next week.”
Musk, who briefly portrayed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world before the drop in Tesla’s share price brought him back to the spot, recently asked his Twitter followers for advice on how best to distribute his money.
“Critical feedback is always great, as are the ways to donate money that really make a difference (much harder than it seems),” Musk said in a statement earlier this month.
In 2012, Musk signed Giving Pledge, an initiative launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that invited signatories to donate at least half of their wealth throughout their lives and donated primarily to science and engineering education, renewable energy research, and pediatric research. , and the study of human space.
But a September Forbes estimate found that Musk had donated only $ 100 million so far – less than 1 percent of his net worth.
Still, Musk’s proposed carbon capture race will focus on a cause that is likely to play a key role in combating climate change, especially under the Biden administration.
Read more: VC shares 46 start-up climate technologies that should jump in 2021.
A study published in November in Scientific Reports concludes that companies and governments urgently need to “start developing technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” a process known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Earth’s temperatures are about to blow the levels that the Paris Climate Agreement – which President Joe Biden rejoined on Wednesday – has set targets for 2100.
But even if all greenhouse gas emissions stop by then, the study says, at least 33 gigatons of carbon dioxide will have to be sucked out of the atmosphere each year by carbon capture – roughly the total amount of carbon dioxide worldwide. fuel industry issued in 2018 (36 gigatons).
The technology is becoming widely accepted as a safe and potentially effective form of geoengineering compared to other approaches, and Biden expressed support for it in his campaign platform, saying his administration would take steps to “accelerate the development and deployment of capture technology.” carbon. “
In particular, Biden wants to make carbon capture more widely available, cheaper and scalable, and plans to increase federal investment and tax incentives for technology development.
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