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Inspired the the “moonshot” project of the 1960s, the heir to the British throne has launched an ambitious effort to find the fifty best new ideas that can change the current course of destruction of the planet. For the next ten years, each year Prince William and The Earthshot Prize Council, which is comprised of experts from six continents, will award one million pounds each to five winners (50 million pounds in total). These prizes will fit into one of five “Earthshots” – universal goals that are explained in a series of short films. Several global environmental organizations will assist the effort, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International (CI).
Why This Matters: Now more than ever we need leaders with worldwide influence to put us on the right track on climate change and biodiversity conservation. CI CEO M. Sanjayan told ODP, “In the face of our current crises, our world needs both hope and action right now – and His Royal Highness Prince William’s commitment to recognize and support the big ideas needed for a safer, more resilient planet offers both in spades.” With the next climate COP taking place in the U.K. in 2021, we hope the Prince will continue to use his significant influence to create the global political will for change.
The Goal Is To Find Solutions
The Prince is creating the Earthshot Prize with a goal of finding new solutions that work on every level, have a positive effect on environmental change, and that can improve living standards globally, particularly for communities that are most at risk from climate change. The prizes will be awarded to the best ideas — whether they are from an individual, a team, or in collaborations.
“The plan is to really galvanize and bring together the best minds, the best possible solutions, to fixing and tackling some of the world’s 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 that this very ambitious global prize is the only way forward,” Prince William explained.
However, this initiative is more than a prize competition — it is intended to launch a decade of action by convening the environmental world with funders, businesses, and individuals to maximize impact and take solutions to scale, to celebrate the people and places driving change, and to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet.
The Five Earthshots
The five Earthshots prize categories are: protect and restore nature; clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world, and fix our climate. Each one of these categories is defined by scientifically agreed targets that include the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally recognized measures of success. Solutions are needed in all five critical areas because they are interconnected and a solution to only one of them is not sufficient.
To Go Deeper: Watch the five short Earthshot films here, and see who are the members of the Earthshot Council as well.
To Apply: Nominations will open on November 1st. There will be over 100 nominating partners from across the world who will submit nominations of individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations. We will keep you posted on the nominating partners.
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