Quarantine Stories: Climate Change Waits for No One

Jun 26 2020

10 teams remain in the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global competition that started in 2015 in a quest to develop breakthrough technologies to convert CO2 emissions into everyday products.

In March 2020, the finalists were rushing to test centers to perfect their technologies. Then, COVID-19 swept the world. Nations shut down. Economies stopped. But climate change didn’t stop. So, how did these teams and heroes keep fighting climate change while on lockdown?

Team Air Co.

Once COVID-19 started rapidly spreading in their hometown of New York City, team Air Co. immediately switched production from a CO2-based vodka to a hand sanitizer, fighting both coronavirus and climate change at the same time. 

Team Dimensional Energy

Harnessing the power of the sun is much easier when you have access to a lab. But like everybody else, Team Dimensional Energy had to work from home during the pandemic. 

Team Carbon Upcycling-NLT

Mental health is equally important as physical health, and Team Carbon Upcycling-NLT learned how to manage emotions during work from home orders while still fighting climate change. 

Team CarbonCure

People’s homes during quarantine also became full-time offices and daycares. Distractions multiplied. Team CarbonCure was able to stay focused by remembering their reason for entering the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE – create a technology that can benefit the entire world. 

Team C4X

As the only Chinese team remaining in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, Team C4X’s pandemic experience was much different than the rest of the competitors. 

Team Carbon Capture Machine

Good can come from bad. Team Carbon Capture Machine channeled their anxiety during quarantine into mitigating climate change and remembering life is about looking after what we have.


Team CERT developed a CO2-based product that can be used in almost anything, plastics, textiles, cars – you name it, and not even a pandemic could slow them down.

Team CO2 Concrete

The world collectively encountered a major obstacle to day-to-day life with quarantine, but Team CO2 Concrete asked itself one question as it dealt with COVID-19 and Climate Change, “are we capable of making a difference.”

Team Breathe

Team Breathe feels a more personal connection to the climate change fight, with pollution in their home nation of India more visible compared to the rest of the world, but slowing down work during complete lockdown wasn’t an option.

Learn more at carbon.xprize.org