Earthshot Prize: Royals aim to spur ‘decade of action to repair planet’

Unveiled on the Kensington Royal Instagram account this week, the Prize’s overall aim is to ignite a “decade of action to repair the Earth”.

It will award funding to five individuals or organisations every year between 2021 and 2030 – the deadline for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Funds are set to be allocated by philanthropists, NGOs, businesses and the Royal Family.

Prize applicants will need to demonstrate the ability of their project, concept or innovation to provide a scalable way in which to tackle one of the planet’s biggest environmental challenges – be that climate change, plastic ocean pollution or air pollution. All winners will need to tackle their challenge in a way which restores nature.

Announcing the Prize, David Attenborough called it “the most prestigious environment prize in history”.

Prince William added that the launch of the Prize comes at a time when humanity faces a “stark choice” – between “irreparably” damaging the planet or “leading, innovating and problem-solving”.

The Palace has shared the Prince’s optimism, with a source telling the BBC that the Earthshot Prize shows a “massive level of ambition” and is “the biggest commitment the duke has ever made”.

View this post on Instagram

We’re excited to announce #Earthshotprize, a decade of action to repair the earth. Will you help us solve earth’s greatest problems?

A post shared by The Earthshot Prize (@earthshotprize) on Dec 31, 2019 at 2:56am PST

Future of the Prize

Although the Prize already has its own dedicated website, its official launch will not take place until later on in the year.

The launch is expected to take place ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this December, which is being widely badged as the most important UN climate conference since COP21 in 2015, where the Paris Agreement was first ratified.

The Palace has confirmed that the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will operate the Prize in the first instance, following consultation with more than 60 big-name stakeholders across the green economy. However, there is scope for it to become an independent organisation in the future.

Its launch follows on from a string of environmental campaigns from the Royal Family in recent months.

In September, Prince Harry launched Travalyst – an eco-tourism campaign supported by the likes of Visa, Tripadvisor, and Skyscanner. The initiative will provide support to businesses and individual travellers alike around the issues of wildlife, communities, tourism growth and the natural environment.

A month later, William and Kate visited a melting glacier in Pakistan and made a call for more education and political action to tackle climate change. The trip came after William interviewed Sir Attenborough at last year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Christine Nellist says:

    Is the Duchess wearing fur in this photo? If so there is an urgent need for her to educate herself on the suffering of the animals that have been used to make some of her clothes. Viewing the created world as a resource, something we can use, despite the suffering involved or the damage caused by our selfish acts, is at the very heart of our climate crisis. This is an unfortunate photo for such a good cause.

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