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Tesla CEO Musk places $100 million jolt into quest for carbon elimination By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SpaceX proprietor and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks throughout a dialog with legendary sport designer Todd Howard on the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles

By Hyunjoo Jin and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) -Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Thursday supplied inventors $100 million in prize cash to develop methods to battle world warming by eradicating carbon dioxide from the ambiance or ocean.

“Proper now we have solely received one planet, mentioned Musk, CEO of electrical carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc. “Even a 0.1% probability of catastrophe — why run that danger? That is loopy!”

In January, Musk introduced his intention to supply $100 million in prizes and set out the competition guidelines on Thursday, Earth Day. What organizers known as the “largest incentive prize in historical past” will final for 4 years by means of Earth Day, 2025.

“I am open to rising the prize measurement, too, over time,” Musk mentioned on a video feed that confirmed him open air, barefoot in a black shirt with a forest within the background.

Carbon seize and storage has drawn rising curiosity as a warming local weather has melted glaciers, intensified tropical storms and resulted in “sunny day flooding” of increasingly coastal areas. Whereas international locations are working to cut back emissions, scientists say carbon elimination know-how may even be essential to the purpose of getting emissions to internet zero by 2050.

“I don’t assume we’re at present doomed,” Musk mentioned. “If we maintain going, complacent, there’s some danger of non linear local weather change.”

Carbon seize tasks have already drawn backing from Silicon Valley startups, public officers frightened in regards to the sluggish tempo of chopping emissions, and emitters together with oil firms searching for to offset their local weather impacts.

The know-how will not be but commercially viable. Eradicating carbon prices greater than $300 per metric tonne in a world that every yr emits greenhouse gases equal to about 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. By 2050, some 10 billion tonnes of carbon seize could also be wanted, by some estimates.

“I believe that is a type of issues that’s going to take some time to determine what the precise resolution is,” Musk mentioned. “And particularly to determine what one of the best economics are for CO2 elimination.”

Musk’s $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Elimination is geared toward discovering a viable resolution for taking 1,000 tonnes out of the ambiance yearly, with potential to scale up dramatically.

Contenders should sequester carbon for no less than 100 years. Organizers mentioned they’ll get suggestions by mid Might and switch pointers into guidelines.

Musk has constructed a fame as an industrialist centered on environmentalism, turning electrical automotive maker Tesla into the world’s most useful car firm and increasing into solar energy so prospects can cost their rides carbon-free. He had conversations in regards to the prize with Peter Diamandis, founder and govt chairman of the XPRIZE Basis.

Contest entrants ought to “present a sustainable path to reaching low price at gigatonne scale,” organizers XPRIZE has mentioned on its web site.

There are many Silicon Valley startups desperate to compete. Enterprise capital-backed carbon elimination firms raised $336.5 million final yr, in response to PitchBook.

On Monday, XPRIZE introduced two winners of a separate, $20 million prize to develop applied sciences to covert emissions from energy vegetation into concrete. One is CarbonCure Applied sciences, primarily based in Canada and backed by separate funds by Invoice Gates, Inc (NASDAQ:) and others.

The United Nations has mentioned carbon elimination know-how is required to restrict improve in planetary warming and keep away from catastrophic local weather impacts. However some environmentalists have argued that specializing in carbon elimination displays an absence of resolve to finish the usage of fossil fuels.

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