Extracting carbon dioxide from the air is seen as an increasingly viable way to reduce a key driver of climate change.
Elon Musk said he plans to donate $ 100 million towards an award for best carbon capture technology, weeks after he became the richest person in the world.
Musk made the announcement Thursday on Twitter, his preferred medium, and said details would come next week.
I donate $ 100 million for an award for best carbon capture technology
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
The Tesla Inc. co-founder’s net worth has surged over the past year, pushing him past Jeff Bezos, the automaker making consistent profits, attracting legions of retail investors and being a part of the S&P index. 500.
The South African-born entrepreneur is now worth $ 201.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
One of his first reactions to becoming the richest man – after an initial shrug – was to seek advice on how to give it.
Musk, 49, is a philanthropy neophyte compared to those he has just passed in the Bloomberg ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.
Despite signing the Giving Pledge, Musk has done relatively little publicly when it comes to charity. He donated over $ 257 million to the Musk Foundation – or roughly 0.1% of his current net worth – which in turn distributed $ 65 million between 2016 and 2018 to around 200 nonprofits. , according to an analysis by Quartz.
By taking to social media to solicit comments on philanthropy, Musk is following the lead of Bezos, who asked his Twitter followers for suggestions on charitable giving in 2017.
Musk’s focus on carbon capture is in line with his other business interests, which largely focus on technological solutions to pressing environmental problems.
Carbon capture and storage is a mix of different technologies, all of which share one goal: to trap carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that warms the planet, and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. It can be installed to capture emissions from power plants, industry or even directly from the air.
There are about two dozen large-scale factories around the world, which can capture about 40 million metric tons of CO2 each year, or about 0.1% of the global annual total.
Musk has indicated that the reason he accumulates wealth is to give it away, or at least redirect it to his passionate endeavors, namely space exploration. “It will take a lot of resources to build a city on Mars,” he told German publisher Axel Springer. “I want to be able to contribute as much as possible.”