Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Thursday his latest philanthropic project: a competition to promote innovative technologies for carbon capture. “I’m donating $ 100 million to a prize for the best carbon capture technology,” tweeted Musk, adding that he will be sharing details next week.
Musk, who briefly overtook Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world before a price slide in Tesla shares threw him back one place, recently asked his Twitter followers for advice on how best to give away his money. “Critical feedback is always welcome. Just like donation opportunities that really make a difference (a lot harder than it seems) “, tweeted Musk Beginning of the month. In 2012, Musk signed the Giving Pledge – an initiative launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that calls on signatories to donate at least half of their wealth during their lifetime. The Tesla CEO has so far mainly supported education in the fields of science and technology as well as research projects on renewable energies, space and pediatrics. But a September estimate by Forbes magazine found that Musk has only donated $ 100 million so far – less than 1% of his net worth.
US President Biden relies on the development of CO2 capture to combat climate change
Still, Musk’s proposed carbon capture competition would support an area that will play an important role in the fight against climate change, particularly under the Biden administration. A study published in Scientific Reports in November concluded that there was an urgent need for businesses and governments to “begin developing technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere on a large scale” – a process known as carbon capture and Storage (CCS), or carbon capture and storage is known.
Temperatures on earth are already well on the way to exceeding the target values of the Paris climate agreement for the year 2100 – the US only rejoined the agreement under President Biden on Wednesday. But even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to be stopped by then, according to the study, at least 33 gigatons of carbon dioxide would have to be removed from the atmosphere with the help of CO2 capture every year. This roughly corresponds to the total carbon dioxide emissions of the fossil fuel industry worldwide in 2018 (36 gigatons).
The technology is widely viewed as a safe and potentially effective form of geoengineering when compared to other approaches. Biden also declared during the election campaign that his government would take steps to “accelerate the development and use of technologies for CO2 capture”. In particular, Biden aims to make these technologies more widely available, cheaper, and scalable, and plans to increase federal investment and tax incentives for their development.
This article was translated from English by Steffen Bosse. You can find the original here.