About the Prize

  • Our mission is to recognize and reward the most promising projects that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake.
  • Allocation of the prize money is decided by an expert panel of globally recognized judges.
  • Up to 10 prizes will be awarded in the summer of 2018.
  • Individuals, organizations, or groups are eligible.
  • Total prize money for the first annual prize is $250,000 (and may be split up equally at $25,000 per winner or allocated according to the quality of the project).
  • Applications will be available on this website by December 20, 2017. Apply here.

In 1961, Charles David Keeling published the first study showing the steady increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Dr. Keeling's paper included the "Keeling Curve," a graph showing the increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2. Today, the Keeling Curve is the most recognizable scientific depiction of the threat posed by heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.

Named in honor of Dr. Keeling, the 2018 Keeling Curve Prize will award an annual total of $250,000, to be given to up to ten individuals, organizations or groups whose ideas show the greatest promise for reducing emissions of CO2 or other heat-trapping gases, or increasing the uptake of CO2. The Prize is designed to inspire pioneers and honor those in communities, large and small, whose efforts can change the direction of the Keeling Curve by creating and optimizing new pathways to a sustainable future.

The Prize draws attention to leaders, advocates and innovators giving them global visibility and leverage for the programs, methods or outputs they champion-- and provides a financial boost to further their mission and vision. Internationally recognized experts in climate and energy will select the Prize winners.


Conditions for winning the prize include directly reducing heat-trapping gas emissions (reducing fossil fuel use, carbon capture, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, anything that keeps fossil fuels unused), or drawing down existing stocks of atmospheric heat-trapping greenhouse gases (increased carbon sinks, direct air capture and sequestration).

Virtually any means of achieving these goals is eligible for the Keeling Curve Prize: a concept, a plan, a product, a technology, or a strategy. Applications will be judged on feasibility, scalability and efficacy. An international panel of recognized experts in the field will vet the applications and award the prizes.

More information on the prize criteria will be available on the application page.

2018 Prize Selection and Announcement

For our kickoff year set for the summer of 2018, prizes will be awarded in four specific areas:

  • Distributed Generation
  • Energy Storage
  • Climate-smart Agriculture
  • The Accelerator - only one winner will be chosen in this category

In subsequent years, our goal is to vary the prize categories.