Elon Musk Is Offering $100 Million To Whoever Makes The ‘Best’ Carbon Capture Tech

by : Hannah Smith on : 22 Jan 2021 11:02
Elon Musk Is Offering $100 Million To Whoever Makes The 'Best' Carbon Capture TechPA

Elon Musk is putting his money where his mouth is by offering $100 million to whoever can develop the ‘best’ technology to capture CO2 emissions.

The world’s second richest man has a bit of a habit of throwing out major announcements on Twitter with very little explanation, and did so again last night when he tweeted, ‘Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,’ followed shortly after with ‘Details next week’.


The prize is set to be awarded through an initiative run by the XPrize Foundation, according to Tech Crunch, a charity that runs open-entry competitions to promote technological innovations. While $100m might be small change to the billionaire, it’s definitely a clear incentive for anyone interested in developing climate solutions to get cracking.

Carbon capture technology is expected to play a crucial role in future plans to reduce our impact on the environment, with moves to lower emissions by themselves not likely to be enough to achieve the net-zero emissions targets set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. The tech pretty much does what it says on the tin, by literally taking Co2 emissions produced by industry, transport and elsewhere out of the air at the source, and instead storing it to ensure the damaging byproducts don’t end up in our atmosphere.

The problem is, at the moment, no one has got very far with successfully developing the technology.


Now, Musk is throwing his weight, and his cash, behind carbon capture in an attempt that he hopes will see the technology gain some much needed momentum in the coming years.

PA Images

The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder has often stated that his main goal is to save humanity, and over the past few months has spent a lot of time talking about his plans to use his $201bn net wealth to advance this goal beyond making electric cars and rockets.

Musk has been signed up to Bill Gates’ giving pledge – which asks the world’s wealthiest people to donate half of their fortune to good causes – since 2012, and has recently claimed that he intends to sell ‘almost all’ of his physical possessions to finance SpaceX plans to colonise Mars as early as 2026.


Earlier this month, Musk asked his Twitter followers for ideas on how best to spend his wealth for humanity’s common good, saying ‘critical feedback is always super appreciated, as well as ways to donate money that really make a difference (way harder than it seems).’ This new prize seems like a good place to start.

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Topics: Technology, Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tech, Tesla


  1. Reuters

    Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for 'best' carbon capture tech