Royal Corner

The Earthshot Prize Launches

The Duke of Cambridge launches "the most prestigious environmental prize in history" and pledges a decade long mission to repair the earth.

OCTOBER 8th, 2020

The Duke of Cambridge at the Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan - © KensingtonRoyal/HRH The Duchess of Cambridge


he Duke of Cambridge has launched “the most prestigious environmental prize in history” today. The Earthshot Prize – worth an astounding £50 million – is a global initiative to repair the Earth, with the Duke pledging to achieve the goal by 2030. Likening it to a green Nobel Prize, The Duke has spent two years consulting with leading experts across climate change and the environment to develop the format and structure of the award.

That format will see an award of £1 million be gifted to 5 winning innovators each year until 2030, with the award ceremony taking place in different cities across the globe each year between 2021 and 2030.

The Earthshot Prize launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

The Duke of Cambridge launched the prize with five challenges - clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world, protect and restore nature and fix our climate. The Earthshot Prize is the biggest initiative William has tackled and the project has been organised personally by the Prince and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

A panel of thirteen judges will decide the winners of each category, and their identities will be announced later today. For those lucky enough to win an award they can be either individuals, teams or collaborations and include activists, schools, governments, banks, businesses, countries, cities, leaders, and scientists. Each nominee can also have achieved change in numerous differing avenues – from a ‘people-powered’ moment protecting an essential piece of rainforest, or a country achieving net zero gas emissions.

Protect and Restore Nature launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

Clean Our Air launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

The prize will be funded by a group of financial backers and include expertise from the Aga Kahn Development Network, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dubai Expo 2020, the Jack Ma Foundation, Marc and Lynne Benioff, and the Paul G Allen Family Foundation.

Launching the initiative, the Duke of Cambridge said: “The plan is to galvanise and bring together the best minds, the best possible solutions, to fixing and tackling some of the greatest environmental challenges.

“We’ve got to harness our ingenuity and our ability to invent. The next ten years are a critical decade for change. Time is of the essence, which is why we believe this very ambitious global prize is the only way forward.”

The Duke also added in a BBC interview alongside Sir David Attenborough – who is launching the prize with the Duke: “I felt very much that there’s a lot of people wanting to do many good things for the environment and what they need is a bit of a catalyst, a bit of hope, a bit of positivity that they can actually fix what’s being presented.

“I think that urgency with optimism 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.

“We believe this decade is one of the most crucial decades for the environment and by 2030 we hope to have made huge strides in fixing some of the biggest problems the Earth faces.”

Build A Waste-Free World launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

Revive Our Oceans launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

Fix Our Cliimate launch video - © The Earthshot Prize

A series of five short films setting out each of the challenges which will be the foundation of The Earthshot Prize are set to be released online today.

The launch of the prize follows on from the Duke’s documentary, Prince William: A Planet For Us All which received universal praise. He will also attend the first ever TED Talks Countdown Event on Saturday 10th October.

To learn more about The Earthshot Prize visit the website here.

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