‘Earthshot Prize’ is the largest environmental award ever

Prince William and David Attenborough have created the largest ever environmental prize that hopes to encourage new climate change solutions by awarding £50 million worth of grants over the next decade.

Prince William has joined forces with famous documentary maker Sir David Attenborough to create a brand new environmental prize.

Launched last Thursday, the ‘Earthshot Prize’ will be awarding £1 million to five groups or individuals working on effective climate change solutions every year for the next decade. That’s £50 million in total, making this the largest ever environmental prize.

Grants will be determined by a panel of judges, of which Sir David is a member, who will focus on five key challenges when assessing entries. These include protecting and restoring nature, cleaning our air, reviving our oceans, building a waste-free world – principally, fixing our climate. Though these goals may seem lofty, all have been based on scientifically agreed targets formed in unison with the UN Global Goals guidelines.

Attenborough will be joined by 12 other judges, comprising of former Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, actor Cate Blanchett, and Shakira, among others. It’s certainly an eclectic bunch and candidates will need to impress all to bag those big funds. I’ve no doubt that top-end celebrities will help to bring some much needed exposure to the cause, though we’ve no word yet on whether we’ll be getting a special eco-themed performance of ‘Hips Don’t Lie’.

Five short movies have been released to accompany the launch and generate online buzz, which were produced by wildlife filmmakers Silverback Films – you’ve probably seen their recent work with Attenborough on ‘A Life On Our Planet’. Each one focuses on a single key challenge that candidates will need to tackle and all are currently available on the Earthshot YouTube channel. Check out the first one on protecting and restoring nature below.

Now, with all that out of the way, you’re probably wondering where that name came from, right?

It’s based on the famous ‘Moonshot’ programme created by John F. Kennedy in 1961 that propelled the US into the space race. Industry leaders harnessed the most advanced technology of the time for a humanitarian cause, and Prince William says he wants this new initiative to encourage similar behaviour from the world’s top inventors and thinkers.

Speaking at the launch on October 8th, he described the next decade of climate action as ‘crucial’.  He’s hopeful that this new prize will push for optimistic urgency and says he was inspired both by Attenborough and his own father, Prince Charles. ‘By 2030 we really hope to have made a huge stride in fixing some of the biggest problems on Earth.’

He also gave a shout out to young Gen Zers who are pushing for climate reform and urging global leaders to think about the policies they’re putting in place with a view to helping the state of the planet. ‘I believe in human ingenuity, and I do believe in the younger generations speaking up as they are now. They will not stand for this lack of hope.’

Hopefully we’ll see some fresh and effective solutions emerge as a result of the Earthshot Prize. Who doesn’t want a chance to meet royalty, Attenborough, Shakira, and earn themselves a cool million in funding to develop world-saving technology? Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

If you’d like to learn more you can visit the official Earthshot website here or head to the official Instagram page here.

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