Saving the planet from the harsh effects of climate change is everyone’s job. And now, the Earthshot prize is here to reward those creating the most innovative solutions.
Created by the Duke of Cambridge, the awards present a £1 million prize to five projects working to combat the climate crisis.
The inaugural event took place on Sunday, attended by celebrities who did not fly to the event in London, and who were asked to consider the environment when choosing an outfit.
In a pre-recorded video for the ceremony, Prince William said: “We are alive in the most consequential time in human history. The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.
“A decade doesn’t seem long, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable. The future is ours to determine. And if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.”
The winners – decided by judges David Attenborough, Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira – were chosen from five different categories, from a shortlist of 15 entrees.
The 2021 EarthShot winners
Protect and Restore Nature:
- The Republic of Costa Rica: Costa Rica is working on a scheme to pay local citizens to restore natural ecosystems which has led to reviving their rainforest.
Clean our Air:
- Takachar, India: Farmers who burn agricultural waste can cause huge air pollution, so a portable machine has been created to turn the waste into fertiliser.
- Coral Vita, Bahamas: Coral reefs are beautiful to look at but they are dying out. So two best friends from the Bahamas developed special tanks which restore the world’s diminishing reefs, growing coral up to 50 times faster than they would grow naturally.
Build a Waste-Free World:
- The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy: Food poverty is real around the world, while waste is a huge problem. The city of Milan has found a way around it, collecting unused food and giving it to the poor. This scheme has dramatically cut waste while also tackling hunger.
- AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy: Hydrogen is usually produced by burning fossil fuels. But a new design in Thailand is using renewable energy to make hydrogen by splitting wanter into hydrogen and oxygen.
The Duchess of Cambridge recycled an old outfit for the awards, while humanitarian and actress Emma Watson sported a dress made out of 10 different outfits from Oxfam.
The stage was also erected without using any plastic while the music was powered by 60 cyclists pedalling on bikes.
The award got its name after being inspired by former US president JFK’s project ‘Moonshot’ to get a man on the moon within the decade.
Prince William hopes that with the launch of the prize, more young people will be interested in getting involved in climate action.
He tweeted: “I want to say something to all the young people watching tonight: For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future. But Earthshot is for you. In the next 10 years we are going to act. We are going to find the solutions to repair our planet.”
The ceremony took place just two weeks before the COP26 UN Climate Change summit happening in Glasgow with world leaders.