If the threat of the destruction of our planet and the entire human race along with it wasn’t enough of a push to solve the climate crisis, 100 million dollars oughta do it.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person—with a net worth of around 200 billion dollars—is giving a small slice of his wealth to whoever can come up with the best solutions for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The prize will be awarded via the nonprofit XPRIZE in four years time, can be natural, engineer or hybrid solutions, and will hopefully save us from a fiery end to life as we know it. So, I’m into the idea.
As you’d expect with a competition involving this amount of coin, there’s some fine print. To win the competition, teams must demonstrate a ‘rigorous, validated scale model of their solution at a level of carbon removal of 1 ton of CO2 per day, and further must demonstrate to a team of judges the ability of their solution to economically scale to gigaton levels.’ In other words: it’s gotta work in real life (not just on paper), on a huge global scale, and it has to remove, not just neutralise CO2.
The $100M in prize purses will be distributed in the following way:
After 18 months, the 15 top teams selected will receive $1 million each. In the same timeframe, a total of 25 $200,000 student scholarships will be distributed to student teams competing. The remaining $80M in purses will be distributed as follows:
1) 1st Place: $50M
2) 2nd Place: $20M
3) 3rd Place: $10M