Finalists for 2020 Keeling Curve Prize announced during Earth Optimism Summit

20 world-class projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or promote carbon uptake are vying for ten $25,000 prizes 

ASPEN, Colorado, April 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Finalists for the 2020 Keeling Curve Prize include projects that turn carbon dioxide into stone, bring solar energy to rural Africa, help people get paid for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and invite people online to post messages about climate change to those they love living decades in the future. The 20 finalists, announced during the Smithsonian’s digital Earth Optimism Summit, were chosen from over 300 applications from all over the world.

"We are thrilled to present this year’s finalists," said Jacquelyn Francis, founder and director of the Keeling Curve Prize. "They have strong potential to curb global warming emissions and demonstrate that game-changing solutions to this crisis are well underway."

Every year, the Keeling Curve Prize awards $25,000 to 10 projects around the globe with significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake. The prize is named after scientist Charles David Keeling’s famous Keeling Curve, which has been showing an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere since 1958.

"We aim to bend the Keeling Curve by identifying and supporting the world’s most promising global warming solutions projects," said Francis.

Four finalists were vetted by a team of research analysts and selected by the advisory council for each of this year’s five prize categories:

  • Capture & Utilization
  • Energy
  • Transport & Mobility
  • Finance
  • Social & Cultural Pathways

An international panel of judges from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors will select two winners in each category. The winners will be announced in June. 

"The Keeling Curve Prize adds enormous value to the effort to curb global warming," said Dan Kammen, a KCP advisory council member and Distinguished Professor of Energy at UC Berkeley. "It identifies emerging climate solutions, funds them directly, and raises their profile among other potential funders. And the award process is designed to move prize money to these important projects quickly and efficiently."

The following is a list of the finalists and where they are headquartered.

Capture & Utilization

  • Borneo Nature Foundation protects the peat-swamp forests of southern Borneo, some of the largest terrestrial carbon stores on the planet. (Indonesia)
  • CarbFix captures CO2 and turns it into stone underground in less than two years through proprietary technology. (Iceland)
  • GHGSat‘s technology and satellite platform enable GHG and air-quality gas measurements that are more accurate and cheaper than comparable alternatives. (Canada)
  • New Leaf Dynamic‘s GreenCHILL technology offers rural farmers an off-the-grid refrigeration system powered by farm waste. (India)


  • CLIMATENZA aims to cut carbon emissions from the industrial sector in emerging economies by implementing next-generation solar thermal technology. (India)
  • Jaza Energy replaces fossil fuels with clean energy in remote African communities. (Canada and Tanzania)
  • Oorja Development Solutions deploys community solar irrigation pumps for farmers in rural India. (India)
  • SkyCool Systems‘ radiative sky cooling panel improves the efficiency of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. (Mountain View, Calif.)


  • Aligned Climate Capital accelerates private capital flows into sustainable real assets including clean energy, efficient transportation, green real estate, and sustainable natural resources. (New York)
  • Nori‘s carbon-removal marketplace makes it easier for people to get paid for pulling excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Odyssey Energy Solutions facilitates financing and development of off-grid distributed energy projects that address rural energy poverty in developing countries. (Boulder, Colo.)
  • The Generation Forest cooperative enables finance and climate action to work together through impact investment for retail investors. (Germany)

Transport & Mobility

  • AutoTruck E.A. Ltd. has developed an electric-powered three-wheeler minicab for use in African cities and large towns. (Kenya)
  • Bridges to Prosperity provides economic mobility to rural communities in developing countries while reducing the need for vehicle infrastructure by building pedestrian footbridges for ‘last mile’ connections. (Denver, Colo.)
  • EH Group Engineering has developed a new kind of low-temperature fuel cell that enables compact, lightweight, cheap, and highly efficient energy generators with minimal emissions. (Switzerland)
  • EVmatch aims to revolutionize electric vehicle (EV) charging through a peer-to-peer charging network. (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Social & Cultural Pathways

  • Citizens Climate is focused on the advancement of bipartisan climate change mitigation policies, such as national dividend and carbon fee policies. (Coronado, Calif.)
  • The Climate Museum inspires climate action with programming across the arts and sciences that deepens understanding, builds connections, and advances just solutions. (New York)
  • Dear Tomorrow is a global climate storytelling project where people write messages to people they love living in the future. (Tysons, Va.)
  • Feedback is an evidence-based environmental campaign charity working to regenerate nature by transforming the food system. (United Kingdom)

Contact: Carina Daniels

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Source: Finalists for 2020 Keeling Curve Prize announced during Earth Optimism Summit