$100M Gigaton Scale Carbon Removal

Phase

Announcement

$100M Gigaton Scale Carbon Removal

$100 Million

Prize Purse

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity — fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.

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Overview

Truly Meaningful Impact

The world's leading scientists estimate that we may need to remove as much as 6 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030, and 10 gigatons per year by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of climate change. For humanity to reach the Paris Agreements goal of limiting the Earth’s temperature rise to no more than 1.5˚(C) of pre-industrial levels, or even 2˚(C), we need bold, radical tech innovation and scale up that goes beyond limiting CO2 emissions, but actually removes CO2 already in the air and oceans. If humanity continues on a business-as-usual path, the global average temperature could increase 6˚(C) by the year 2100. 

This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans ultimately scaling massively to gigaton levels, locking away CO2 permanently in an environmentally benign way. 

Solutions will be scientifically evaluated across multiple criteria such as; amount of CO2 removed, life cycle analysis of the removal process, energy efficiency, land footprint and sequestration capabilities.

Any carbon negative solution is eligible: nature-based, direct air capture, oceans, mineralization, or anything else that sequesters CO2 permanently. 

How to Register

Team registration opens with the announcement of the full competition guidelines on Earth Day, April 22nd 2021. The competition will last for 4 years through Earth Day 2025.

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How to Win

To win the competition, teams must demonstrate a rigorous, validated scale model of their carbon removal solution, and further must demonstrate to a team of judges the ability of their solution to economically scale to gigaton levels. The objective of this XPRIZE is to inspire and help scale efficient solutions to collectively achieve the 10 gigaton per year carbon removal target by 2050, to help fight climate change and restore the Earth’s carbon balance.

Teams can submit entries across natural, engineer and hybrid solutions.  Judges in the competition will evaluate the teams based upon four basic criteria:

  • A working carbon removal prototype that can be rigorously validated and capable of removing at least 1 ton per day.

  • The team’s ability to demonstrate to the judges that their solution can economically scale to the gigaton level.

  • The main metric for this competition is fully considered cost per ton, inclusive of whatever considerations are necessary for environmental benefit, permanence, any value-added products; and

  • The final criteria is the length of time that the removed carbon is locked up for. A minimum goal of 100 years is desired.


Prize Purse

The $100M in prize purses will be distributed in the following manner:

After 18 months, at the discretion of the competition judges, the 15 top teams selected will receive $1 million each. Milestone Awards will kickstart team fundraising for their operating budgets to achieve the full-scale demonstrations required to win the prize.

In the same timeframe, a total of twenty-five $200,000 student scholarships will be distributed to student teams competing.

The remaining $80M in Purses will be distributed as follows:

  • Grand Prize Winner (1st Place): $50M

  • 2nd Place: $20M

  • 3rd Place: $10M

All information preliminary and subject to change so sign up to stay up to date with competition news and announcements. Full competition guidelines, prize purse and more information to be confirmed on Earth Day, April 22nd 2021.


WE WANT TEAMS TO BUILD REAL SYSTEMS THAT CAN MAKE A MEASURABLE IMPACT AT A GIGATON LEVEL.  WHATEVER IT TAKES.  TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.

Elon Musk

Co-founder and CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company

WE HOPE TO PUSH THIS CRITICAL FIELD FORWARD IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE ANSARI XPRIZE MOVED COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT.

Peter H. Diamandis, MD

Founder and Executive Chairman, XPRIZE

IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO USE HUMAN CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, AND COMPETITION TO REWRITE OUR HISTORY AND CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL OF US ON THIS PLANET WE CALL HOME.

ANOUSHEH ANSARI

CEO of XPRIZE

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