Tesla CEO and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took to his Twitter account to announce that he will give a $100 million prize for developing the "best" technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
Elon Musk announced he would give $100 million prize on Twitter
On Thursday, Elon Musk promised a $100 million prize for the "best" capture of planet-warming emissions as it becomes a critical part of many plans in keeping climate change in check.
Little progress has been made in tech until now, with efforts focused on cutting emissions than taking carbon out of the air, according to NBC News.
Late last year, the International Energy Agency said that a remarkable increase in carbon capture technology deployment is needed if countries want to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Musk wrote in a tweet, "Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology." His announcement was followed by a second tweet promising to give details next week.
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request for further details. Elon Musk co-founded and sold Internet payments company PayPal Holdings Inc., which is now leading some of the most futuristic companies worldwide.
Aside from Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, headed by Musk, both startups are developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces connecting computers to the human brain.
The newly sworn-in U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology. It is part of Biden's sweeping plan to cover climate change. Biden named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Elon Musks' simple 11-word tweet makes him the latest billionaire to throw weight on developing the industry. The world's second wealthiest man did not detail what the prize would entail, but he mentioned that more details would come in the next week, according to Business Insider.
Read also: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Regains World's Richest Person Title, Replacing Tesla CEO Elon Musk
What is carbon capture tech?
Carbon capture technologies are made to pull greenhouse gas emissions out from pollution sources and in the air. Many capture carbon dioxide and recycle it to create new products like sustainable fuels.
In the past, Elon Musk hinted at the idea of using carbon-capture tech to make rocket fuel. In the long term, rocket flights will be net-zero utilizing this approach, Musk claimed on Twitter in 2019. Recently, he asked his followers for advice on how to spend his wealth to make a difference.
The Tesla CEO is among the growing list of big investors piling into carbon capture. Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate venture fund led by Bill Gates, revealed it had raised a second $1 billion fund in January. The fund will go towards tough climate challenges that could include direct-air carbon capture. Meanwhile, early last year, Microsoft said it would put $1 billion towards carbon capture and removal.
Express reported that Twitter users mocked Elon Musk's prize money offer and suggested he plant more trees. The CEO said in a reply that they are part of the solution but need lots of fresh land and water.