Prince William has launched a multimillion pound environmental prize to inspire people and businesses to find solutions to try and save the planet from catastrophe.
The Queen’s grandson said the world is “at a tipping point” and facing a “stark choice” of continuing to destroy the Earth or find viable solutions.
Announcing the prize on Twitter, the Duke of Cambridge said: “The next ten years presents us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of change to repair the Earth.”
Prince William said: “We face a stark choice: Either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.”
JFK’s Moonshot inspires Duke’s Earthshot
The prize is inspired by US President John F Kennedy’s “Moonshot” lunar programme which has become a shorthand for groundbreaking, highly ambitious projects that at first may seem impossible, but like landing on the moon, become achievable.
The “Earthshot prize” is intended to inspire people to find solutions to the climate crisis and issues surrounding energy, the oceans, nature and biodiversity, air pollution and fresh water.
It is backed by Sir David Attenborough, who narrated the video introducing the Earthshot Prize, which he called the “most prestigious environment prize in history.”
It will give substantial monetary awards to winners who will also gain public recognition and, it is hoped, see their concepts globally adopted and upscaled.
‘People can achieve great things’
The Duke said: “Remember the awe-inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the moon. People can achieve great things.”
The ambition of the prize is to spark a global movement to encourage business, governments and communities to seek and implement solutions to the environmental crisis and is designed to reward innovation and progress across all sectors of society and industry.
The Duke was advised by renowned experts including the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Nobel Assembly to develop the project which he first discussed with Sir David.
‘Designed to motivate and inspire’
“The spirit of the Moonshot can guide us today as we confront the serious challenges we face on earth”, said the renowned broadcaster and environmentalist.
Sir David added: “This year Prince William and a global alliance launch the most prestigious Environment Prize in history … A global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently.”
The announcement of the prize is the latest story in an ever growing number of statements and campaigns seeking to address the climate crisis. Earlier this week, Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England warned that trillions of dollars worth of assets are at risk – with huge implications for millions of pension funds – in an interview to try and get business to take meaningful action.
“Will you help us solve the earth’s greatest problems?” asked the Duke.