It seems that billionaires are finally coming to grips with the bigger issues. Elon Musk donated some of his millions to XPrize, a non-profit organization that removes excess carbon from the atmosphere. He partnered with the organization for a competition that’ll help to stop climate change!
Elon Musk Donates $100M
While this isn’t the first time Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has stepped forward to help save the Earth from climate change, it is one of his most significant pledges to date. He and non-profit XPrize will hand someone “a prize for best carbon capture technology.” The prize? $50 million for the winner and Musk’s push behind the technology. Meanwhile, various runners-up will split another $50 million, for $100 million in total prize money. Teams all over the world can take a chance at creating “a solution that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way.”
And this isn’t some one and done competition either. Musk and XPrize have put the deadline four years from now! Plenty of time to hypothesize, research, prepare, and test ideas. Musk will evaluate the ideas every step of the way.
Partnering With XPrize
Teams will have to create “a working carbon removal prototype that can be rigorously validated and capable of removing at least one ton per day,” according to the XPrize website. Not only they have to make the prototype, but team members will need to show that the plan can work on a bigger scale, removing gigatons of CO2. It’s a solid goal: scientists agree that removing seven gigatons of CO2 a year could help humanity avoid the climate crisis.
“We want to make a truly meaningful impact. Carbon negativity, not neutrality. The ultimate goal is scalable carbon extraction that is measured based on the ‘fully considered cost per ton’ which includes the environmental impact,” said Musk. “This is not a theoretical competition; we want teams that will build real systems that can make a measurable impact and scale to a gigaton level. Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence.”
How To Stop Climate Change
As stated, the total $100 million won’t go to one team in particular. First place will take home the grand prize of $50 million, second $20 million, and third $10 million. The remaining $20 million will be split between the other top ten contenders. Peter Diamandis, the Founder and Executive Chairman of XPrize, hopes this will inspire the next big change in climate-fighting science. “We want to see them built, tested, and validated. We hope this XPRIZE will activate the public and private sectors to get involved in the same way that the $10M Ansari XPRIZE brought about the commercial spaceflight industry,” he said.
Of course, to many, it will come as no surprise that Musk would donate to such a cause. After all, his two biggest enterprises, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, are based on the understanding that climate change is not only real, but a problem facing humanity. Hopefully, this will help in a similar way!