Prince William and Kate have joined a host of famous faces at the inaugural awards ceremony for his ambitious prize to find solutions to the planet’s environmental problems.
The Earthshot Prize takes its inspiration from the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements.
No celebrities have flown to London for the event and guests were
asked to consider the environment when selecting an outfit for the green carpet, with actress Emma Watson donning fashion made from 10 different dresses from Oxfam.
The Earthshot judges include broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, Australian actress Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira at the event being staged at Alexandra Palace in north London.
The ceremony comes ahead of the Cop26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow in a few weeks — which the Queen, the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will attend.
William’s green crusade has been praised by his father Prince Charles who has been a long-time advocate for the environment.
“I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of the Earthshot Prize,” said Prince Charles.
“As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need.
“Over the coming decade, with future generations in mind, the Earthshot Prize, and its inspirational nominees, will help us find the innovative solutions.
“In parallel, through my Terra Carta and Sustainable Markets Initiative, we will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars required to transition the global economy on to a more sustainable trajectory.
“Together, with all those who join us, we have a real opportunity to deliver a brighter future for humanity while restoring harmony between nature, people and planet.”
“I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of the Earthshot Prize. As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need.”
– HRH The Prince of Wales pic.twitter.com/RYMZI9ES8g
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) October 17, 2021
During the Earthshot ceremony, in a short film recorded in the London Eye, Prince William will say: “We are alive in the most consequential time in human history… The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.
“A decade doesn’t seem long, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable.
“Many of the answers are already out there… but we need everyone — from all parts of society — to raise their ambition and unite in repairing our planet.
“The future is ours to determine. And if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.”
Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and KSI will perform and others celebrities include actors Dame Emma Thompson, and David Oyelowo, and Liverpool FC striker Mo Salah.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, William criticised space tourism.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” he said.
His comment, made during a BBC interview, was aired the day after Star Trek actor William Shatner made history by becoming the oldest person in space.
Shatner, 90, defended his historic space flight, saying William had got the “wrong idea” and his adventure was a small step that could eventually lead to polluting industries moving off earth.
The Earthshot awards feature five categories, or Earthshots — Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; and Fix our climate — which organisers say if achieved by 2030 would improve life for all.
Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners of the five Earthshots will each receive one million pounds ($1.9 million) to develop their projects.
The inaugural 15 finalists include a 14-year-old girl from India who has designed a solar-powered ironing cart, the government of Costa Rica, which has pioneered a project paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems, and a Chinese app that allows its citizens to hold polluters to account.