Musk pledges $100 million for carbon removal competition

The carbon removal contest, announced on Monday morning, will run for four years and is open to teams around the globe. Fifteen teams will be selected for the competition within 18 months and they will each get $1 million and 25 separate $200,000 scholarships will be given to student teams who enter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is putting up $100 million as part of a new XPrize Foundation competition focused on carbon removal technology.

The carbon removal contest, announced on Monday morning, will run for four years and is open to teams around the globe.

Fifteen teams will be selected for the competition within 18 months and they will each get $1 million and 25 separate $200,000 scholarships will be given to student teams who enter.

The grand prize winner will be awarded $50 million, second place will receive $20 million, and third place will get $10 million, The Verge reported on Monday.

"We want to make a truly meaningful impact. Carbon negativity, not neutrality," Musk said in a statement.

"This is not a theoretical competition; we want teams that will build real systems that can make a measurable impact and scale to a gigaton level. Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence," he added.

Winners will have to "demonstrate a solution that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign way," according to the XPrize Foundation.

Judges will be looking for solutions that could remove one ton of CO2 per day that can scale to gigaton levels.

Musk first announced that he was donating money towards a prize in January, not long after he passed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. When that happened, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO asked his millions of Twitter followers for "ways to donate money that really make a difference."

The $100 million is coming from Musk's own foundation. This donation roughly doubles the amount he has publicly given away to date through the Musk Foundation.