Britain's Prince William launches global environment prize

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William will on Thursday launch a multi-million-pound global prize aimed at solving some of the world’s greatest environmental problems.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, speaks during a visit to the Garden House, part of the Light Project, which works on getting people safely off the streets throughout the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Peterborough, Britain, July 16, 2020. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

The Earthshot Prize will award five one-million-pound ($1.29-million) prizes each year for the next 10 years under the categories of protecting and restoring nature, cleaner air, reviving oceans, waste-reduction and climate change.

Nominations open on Nov. 1 ahead of the first awards ceremony in the autumn next year.

William, grandson of Queen Elizabeth and second-in-line to the throne, said change was critical in the next decade to help protect and restore the environment.

“By 2030 we really hope to have made huge strides in fixing some of the biggest problems the Earth faces,” Prince William, 38, will tell BBC Radio when he is interviewed on Thursday with naturalist David Attenborough.

“I think that urgency with optimism really creates action. And so the Earthshot Prize is really about harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems.”

The British royal family have been vocal campaigners on a host of environmental issues, with William’s father Prince Charles speaking out for decades about the impact of climate change and the importance of conservation.

Kensington Palace said the prize drew its inspiration from U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which it said since the 1969 moon landing was synonymous with ambitious and ground-breaking goals.

It said the prizes would provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s environmental problems by 2030.

The Earthshot Prize Council will be set up to decide on the winners with its members to include names from the environmental, philanthropic, business, sporting and entertainment worlds. They will be announced later on Thursday.

The project has more than 100 partners around the world who will submit nominations from Nov. 1, said the statement. The 2021 awards ceremony will take place in London and then in different cities around the world.

The Earthshot Prizes were first announced last December.

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