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Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, have launched a brand new prize to help solve the global climate crisis. The new Earthshot Prize, which will be awarded to five people every year over the next decade, is looking for people who have innovative and groundbreaking climate solutions. The aim of the prize, which is run by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is to provide at least 50 answers to global problems by 2030.
In a video announcement voiced-over by Sir David Attenborough on New Years’ Eve, the royal couple debuted the Earthshot Prize to inspire solutions to fight the most urgent issue facing our planet today: the climate crisis. Described by Attenborough as “the most prestigious environment prize in history,” Earthshot will recognise five individuals every year for the decade, and promises a significant financial award to promote addressing ecological issues such as energy, nature conservation, tackling biodiversity loss, ocean pollution and plastic waste.
Commenting on the prize, Prince William said in a statement: “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.”
The award will officially launch later in the year and will be bestowed from 2021 onwards. It will be open to individuals as well as communities and businesses, anyone or any group is eligible as long as they provide innovative solutions to effectively tackle one of the many environmental issues the planet faces.
“The next 10 years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth,” added Prince William.
Indeed, we are on the cusp of destroying our planet to almost no return. Last year, global attention became affixed on the depth of our climate crisis, much of it sparked by the millions of youths taking to the streets to demand climate action as a part of the Fridays for Future movement started by Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg and the numerous scientific reports sounding the alarm on the need for governments and businesses to gear up their responses.
Despite repeated calls for climate action in the past year, climate change continues to worsen, with 2019 marking the end of the hottest 5-year period the world has ever recorded. Ever-rising temperatures have triggered heat waves across Europe and the United States, exacerbated the worst bushfire season Australia has ever experienced and widespread deliberate deforestation in the Amazon and Indonesia.
Amid the lack of progress, the scientific community and environmental activist community have applauded the Earthshot Prize as a step in the right direction to usher in much needed solutions to our ecological emergency.
Lead image courtesy of Getty Images.