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‘That’s crazy!’: Tesla CEO, Musk $ 100 million in carbon removal | News on climate change


The organizers say Musk’s award for new carbon capture technologies will be the biggest ever.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has given inventors $ 100 million in bonuses for developing ways to combat global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or ocean.

“Right now we have only one planet,” said Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc., “There’s even a 0.1 percent chance of a disaster – why do we see it? that risk? This is crazy!”

In January, Musk announced his intention to donate $ 100 million in prizes and set the rules of the competition on Thursday, Earth Day. What the organizers call the “greatest incentive award in history” will last for four years through Earth Day, 2025.

The capture and storage of carbon has attracted increasing attention as warming climates have melted glaciers, intensified by tropical storms and led to “sunny day flooding” in more and more coastal area. While countries are working to reduce emissions, scientists say carbon removal technology will also be critical to the goal of bringing emissions to zero by 2050.

“Both cost and scalability need to be addressed. Does it have enough carbon to become matter, and can we afford it to become a civilization? Those are two important things, ”Musk said on a video feed showing he was outdoors, barefoot in a black shirt with water and trees in the back.

Coping with climate change

Carbon capture projects have received support from Silicon Valley startups, state officials worried about sluggish pace of emissions and waste cuts, including oil companies. are looking to offset their impact on the climate.

A pipeline to transport carbon dioxide to the removal device at the Tomakomai carbon capture and storage test site in Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan [File: Aaron Sheldrick/Bloomberg]

This technology is not commercially viable yet. Removing carbon could cost more than $ 300 per ton in a world each year emitting greenhouse gas equivalent to about 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide. According to some estimates, by the year 2050, there may need to be about 10 billion tons of captured carbon.

“I think this is one of the things that will take a while to figure out what the right solution is,” Musk said. “And especially find the best economical method to remove CO2”.

Scrapping Musk’s $ 100 million XPRIZE Carbon aims to find a viable solution to get 1,000 tons out of the atmosphere each year, with the potential to scale significantly.

Participants must have a carbon sequestration plan for at least 100 years. Organizers said they’ll get a response by mid-May and make the instructions the rule.

Musk has built a reputation as an industrialist focused on environmentalism, turning electric carmaker Tesla into the world’s most valuable car maker, and expanding into the solar sector to Customers can charge the car without carbon. He talked about the award with Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation.

Lack of solution?

There are plenty of Silicon Valley startups looking to compete. According to PitchBook, venture capital-backed carbon-scrapping companies raised $ 336.5 million last year.

On Monday, XPRIZE announced two separate $ 20 million award winners for developing technology that conceals emissions from power plants into concrete. One is CarbonCure Technologies, based in Canada and backed by the separate funds of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon.com Inc, and others.

The United Nations says carbon removal technology is needed to limit the increase in planetary warming and avoid catastrophic effects on the climate. But some environmentalists have argued that the focus on carbon removal reflects a lack of determination to end fossil fuel use.



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