Launching a new environmental prize, Duke of Cambridge Prince William called the 2020s as the “decade of action” for saving the environment and the earth. “The Earth is at a tipping point and 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,” William said in a statement put out by Kensington Palace.
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He added, “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 next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests—a decade of action to repair the Earth.”
The future king spoke about the need for furthering environmental conservation efforts while announcing the Earthshot Prize, a multi-million pound prize awarded to five winners per year over the next 10 years, with the aim of generating 50 potentially planet-saving solutions by 2030.
Kensington Palace said that William wanted to dispel the current pessimism around the environment and “replace it with fresh optimism and action.” This new initiative has been in the works for more than a year, and is designed to find new ways to approach issues surrounding climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution, and fresh water. It will reward progress across all sectors of industry and society, and Kensington Palace said it could be received by scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, or even countries.
The Earthshot Prize was announced with a film featuring Sir David Attenborough saying, “The Earthshot Prize. A global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently. Visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time.”
The project will be formally launched later this year and challenges will be announced in events around the globe. An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities each year between 2021 and 2030.