The term moonshot became part of the English lexicon based on the US president’s vision to make man go to the moon. In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy stirred America and the world with these words: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” It sounded impossible. Just eight years later, NASA did just that – with remarkable benefits for global science, technology, and economy.

In addition to pursuing smart and sensible decarbonization avenues, overcoming the climate change challenge before 2050 could require moonshots as well. Some of these out-of-the-box thinking could be super-ambitious, some impossible, and some, downright ridiculous. But that’s the nature of moonshots - don’t expect them to be conventional!

Our team at CLIMAX spent a considerable amount of time reviewing moonshot ideas being attempted for climate change mitigation. While it is a wide canvas, and it was pointless to figure out the feasibility of some of them, a key criterion our team used while arriving at the themes, discussion topics and startups was the potential they had to provide decarbonization on scale. 

If we are trying to do the impossible, let it be to make a very big difference - that was the principle we used while evaluating this domain.

Expect exciting stuff to happen in moonshots for climate change mitigation over the 2020-2030 period - in pretty much every sector that has a big influence on greenhouse gas emissions.

Decarbonization potential

By their very nature, moonshots present an ecosystem that is high-risk, high reward.

Succeeding in any of the moonshot ideas for decarbonization - direct air capture - could make a tremendous difference to global decarbonization. The magnitude of such a difference could orders higher than what is possible from incremental innovations.

At the same time, moonshots carry significant uncertainties, and there are very high chances that any moonshot in question will fail.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and moonshots should be considered in that light. Thankfully, a range of stakeholders - powerful governments, large corporates and very high net worth individuals - have taken it upon themselves to invest in and support such moonshot ideas for decarbonization.

Industries impacted

  • Agriculture & farming
  • Airlines & aviation
  • Chemicals & petrochemicals
  • Construction & real estate
  • Environmental services
  • Fertilizers
  • Food & beverages
  • Livestock
  • Marine transport
  • Mining & metals
  • Oil & gas
  • Power
  • Road transport
  • Textile & apparel
  • Waste management
  • Water

Latest News on Moonshots

Themes & Topics

  • Moonshots for

    • Renewable energy

      • Solar energy

      • Wind energy

      • Bio-energy

      • Geothermal energy

      • Hydro power

    • Energy efficiency

      • Industrial waste heat recovery

      • Energy efficient industrial equipment

      • Energy efficient buildings

      • Smart grid

      • Heat pumps

    • Energy storage

      • Green hydrogen

      • Battery storage

      • Thermal storage

      • Mechanical storage

    • Agriculture & food

      • Regenerative agriculture

      • Sustainable forestry

      • Smart farming

      • Agro waste management





  • Moonshots for

    • Waste management

      • Food waste management

      • Solid waste management

    • Materials

      • Bio-based materials

      • Advanced materials

      • Product use efficiency

      • Industrial resource efficiency

    • Industry sector decarbonization

      • Metals

      • Textiles & fashion

      • Chemicals & fertilizers

      • Construction materials

      • Oil & gas

    • Water

      • Water use efficiency

    • Low carbon mobility

      • Electric mobility

      • Low carbon trucking

      • Low carbon marine transport

      • Low carbon aviation

      • Low carbon ICE vehicles

      • Mass transit

    • CO2 capture & storage

      • CO2 capture

      • CO2 utilization



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