Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk said he is donating US$100 million towards a prize for the best carbon capture technology.
Musk, who is the second richest person in the world with a net wealth of US$183 billion according to Forbes, took to his Twitter account to announce the prize.
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
He then promised “details next week”.
Capturing planet-warming emissions is seen as a critical part of the various initiatives to stop climate change. Efforts have been focused on reducing emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.
The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation, said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Carbon capture involves trapping the carbon dioxide at its emission source, transporting it to a storage location (usually underground) and isolating it. Potentially this means it would be possible to grab excess carbon dioxide from the power plant, creating greener energy.
Newly-sworn-in US President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his plans to tackle
climate change. On Thursday, Biden named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the US Department of Energy.
Musk, who co-founded and sold internet payments company PayPal, leads some of the most advanced technology companies in the world. Tesla, which made more than half a million electric cars in 2020, has a market capitalisation of nearly US$800 billion and is building new manufacturing plants in Brandenburg, Germany, and Austin, Texas. Musk also created rocket company SpaceX, which is the first private company to send NASA astronauts to orbit and to NASA’s International Space Station.