Elon Musk has announced a new $100 million prize to whoever can provide the “best carbon capture technology,” the Tesla CEO Tweeted on Thursday night.
Musk’s Tesla has aimed to reduce carbon emissions through passenger transportation, a project that has resulted in the adoption of electric vehicles and over 3.6 million tons of CO2 saved by the cars manufactured by Tesla.
However, other companies involved in the tech sector are willing and able to provide meaningful operations that would allow for the capture of carbon before it is emitted into the atmosphere causing environmental damage. Therefore, Musk is offering the hefty prize as an incentive to solve the issue, heating up the race for whoever can solve the problem first and in the best way.
“Am donating $100M toward a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk said. “Details next week.”
Carbon capture and eventual storage would eliminate the possibility of the gas causing long-term environmental effects on the Earth. The carbon dioxide is captured, stored, and transported to a storage site where it cannot be released into the atmosphere. There are several carbon capture and storage projects across the world, but
Musk’s 2021 has been filled with donations and prizes for people in need as the COVID-19 pandemic surges on, affecting nearly everyone in the world. However, Tesla has continued to surge forward, and while Musk has taken on a vast quantity of projects on his own, incentivizing carbon capture is a great way to spread awareness for the issue. The Tesla CEO already has a full plate.
After grinding for decades, Musk finally obtained the “World’s Richest Person” label on January 7th. It didn’t mean much to him, though, he was right back to work after finding out. But the substantial $190 billion fortune that Musk has isn’t all for him. So far, he’s donated to the #BarstoolFund, the Khan Academy, a hefty $5M sum to Boston researchers fighting COVID-19, and now the $100M carbon capture problem. It all comes back to Musk’s idea that money really doesn’t mean much, it is evident that the mission is much more important.
The influx of donations and monetary gifts that Musk has suddenly started giving publicly may have something to do with the Giving Pledge, a 2012 initiative that Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett both drafted. It asks signatories to donate at least half of their wealth within their lifetime, a tall task for some of the world’s billionaires. However, Musk is off to a great start, signaling millions in donations already with much more on the way.
According to Forbes, Musk has donated around $100 million as of September 2020. With the donations he has already made in 2021, that number has more than doubled with the inclusion of the carbon capture reward.