The Keeling Curve Prize 2019 will award excellence for ten projects in five categories that reduce, eliminate, and/or increase uptake of greenhouse gas emissions.

Winning projects may include advancing innovation, tools and techniques for improved systems, materials and design enhancements, as well as strategies and actions that lead to reversing emissions.

These projects may be specialized or simple, but ultimately, they improve and decarbonize our lives. We encourage your application if your project uniquely addresses an unresolved challenge, or is a novel development.

The categories are designed to encourage a broad spectrum of applicants working along many different angles and stages in the following areas:


Projects in this category are advancing technological and natural strategies for capturing heat-trapping gases from the air or oceans. They bring these strategies to the forefront of the marketplace, and provide methods for verification. These groups are actively creating solutions to restore the natural carbon cycle.

They are developing, improving, and implementing their projects with a particular emphasis on both natural and tech-based sequestration and long-term financial strategy.

This includes: land-based solutions, technology for GHG capture systems, advances in verification for natural sequestration, markets for captured gases, and longevity of uptake. These may include but are not limited to afforestation, soil enhancement, gas recycling, waste-to-energy, and improved cement products.

Keywords: sequestration, carbon products, carbon capture, decarbonization, atmospheric sciences, biomass crops, afforestation, land management solutions


Projects in this category are leading the way in the creation, deployment, maintenance, or improvement of low cost, zero-emissions energy access worldwide, in particular, in areas that currently experience energy poverty.

The solutions target regional, national, or international needs, and should consider economic accessibility, scalability, and strategic competitiveness with fossil fuels as main goals.

Projects that improve energy access for less-developed communities in swift and stable ways (especially those vulnerable to increased coal/fossil fuel use), or projects that reduce the emissions of energy systems already in place are especially encouraged to apply.

Keywords: infrastructure, renewable integration, storage, solar power, wind power, hydropower, grid improvement, funding barriers, decentralized energy, micro-grid


Projects that apply in this category are creating and deploying financial mechanisms that consider ecological, atmospheric, and human wellness on equal footing with economic ideals.

These projects are designed to counterbalance or replace financial strategies that fail to account for sustainability and equity.

These include widespread participation by marginalized communities, and economic valuation of thriving ecosystems where positive impact has been independently verified.

Keywords: scalable/novel investment funds or vehicles, rating systems, credit swaps, bonds, investment partnerships


Projects that apply in this category should be reimagining and reinventing travel for people and products.

These projects will confront the efficiency of the vehicles themselves and their manufacture, the roadways or other systems over which the vehicles travel, waste-reduction in supply chain distribution, improvements in fleet management, mass transit scheduling and efficiency, rural access to zero-emissions transportation, power sources and charging for electric vehicles, and more.

We strongly encourage the application for any project that accelerates power source and modal shifts, addresses weak and wasteful transport systems, and challenges the viability of the internal combustion engine.

Keywords: freight, passenger, electric vehicles, delivery logistics, energy sources, charging, infrastructure, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, ocean freight, vehicle manufacture


Projects in this category are changing the way people think about and act on human impact on the habitability of the planet. They are trying to answer the question: what does it take, socially and culturally, to develop beyond fossil fuels? As the availability of solutions expands, how to we close the gap in human behavior and implementation?

These projects are influencing consumption, policy, international relations, and cultural norms. They encourage individuals, communities, businesses, and governments to function with, and promote high regard for the quality of life for all, both now and in the future.

Keywords: education, curriculum, journalism, cultural/behavioral influence, consumer habits, climate campaigns, policy changes, regulation, removing cultural barriers