Britain’s Prince William has teamed up with celebrities to launch a multi-million-pound environmental prize aimed at tackling the world’s climate problems.
The Earthshot Prize will award five £1 million ($1.80 million) prizes each year for the next 10 years under the categories of protecting and restoring nature, cleaner air, reviving oceans, waste-reduction and climate change.
William has recruited a dozen global celebrities to join the Earthshot Prize Council to decide the winners.
As well as Brazilian footballer Dani Alves and Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, they include British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Queen Rania of Jordan, Australian actor Cate Blanchett, Colombian singer Shakira and former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.
William’s grandfather, Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, and his father Prince Charles have spoken for decades about the importance of conservation and the impact of climate change.
William told BBC Radio it was now his responsibility to take on that baton because the world was at a tipping point and he owed it to his children and grandchildren to leave the world in a better condition.
While he had often wondered what his father was “banging on about” he realised now it had been a very hard sell “to predict and see some of the slow-moving catastrophes that we were headed towards”.
“This is a generational baton-handling, my grandfather started it, my father has picked it up and really accelerated that and I feel right now that it’s my responsibility, I really feel that we are at a tipping point,” he said.
Introducing The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global environment prize in history.
This new global prize for the environment will incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years – a critical decade for the Earth. pic.twitter.com/biAZecHuml
— The Earthshot Prize (@EarthshotPrize) October 8, 2020
Speaking alongside Attenborough, William said change was critical in the next decade.
“By 2030 we really hope to have made huge strides in fixing some of the biggest problems the Earth faces,” William, 38, said.
“I think that urgency with optimism really creates action. And so the Earthshot Prize is really about harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems.”