Elon Musk to donate $100M prize for best carbon capture technology

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Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Elon Musk just launched his biggest philanthropic investment to date. He tweeted Thursday that he’ll be donating a $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology. He will be providing details next week. 

Musk is currently the richest man in the world. He surpassed Jeff Bezos on January 3rd — to later jump to second place when Tesla’s stock price plummeted. However, the “scientist billionaire” quickly regained the title of the wealthiest person on the planet a few days later.

 The donation idea was probably inspired by his followers’ responses on Twitter. On January 8, Musk asked his Twitter followers for advice on how to donate some money.

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Carbon capture technology is an engineering process that traps waste carbon dioxide from the air or before it pours out of power plants and factories. Most of the captured carbon dioxide is stored underground. In the last century, carbon dioxide emissions were the leading cause of global warming and climate change.

Musk launched the carbon-capture initiative in hopes of fighting climate change. This comes in conjunction with Pres. Joe Biden taking office, and implementing immediate actions to address climate change on his first day in presidency. Biden’s administration rejoined the Paris climate agreement and revoked the Keystone XL oil pipeline’s federal permit.

Where do Musk’s donations usually go?

In 2012, Musk signed the Giving Pledge initiative launched by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The philanthropic initiative asked signatories to donate at least half of their wealth during their lifetime.

According to an estimate by Forbes in September, Musk have donated $100 million — only 1% of his net worth.

Musk also donated $5 million to Khan Academy, and most of his other investments were dedicated to science, renewable energy research, human space exploration, and pediatric research.

According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Musk’s net worth is standing at $201 billion. On the other hand, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has $193 billion and is currently the second richest person, while Bill Gates stands at the third place with $134 billion.

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