Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for development of the “best” technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
Musk, who recently surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, didn’t provide any more details except to add in an accompanying tweet the “details will come next week.”
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
A person familiar with the plan told TechCrunch that this will be connected to Xprize Foundation, the non-profit organization that host competitions aimed at encouraging technological development and innovation.
Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.
The International Energy Agency 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.
Newly-sworn-in US President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the US Department of Energy.