Prince William today announced the 15 finalists in the inaugural multi-million pound Earthshot Prize – recognising ‘innovators with ground-breaking solutions to repair our planet’.
Speaking on YouTube, Prince William said the ambition of the Prize is to ‘find the most innovative solutions to repair our planet’. Inspired by the quality of entries, which were received from every continent, he said he believes the major ‘goals for this decisive decade are achievable’.
The Earthshot Prize, to be awarded annually until 2030 – the target year for the UN Global Goals to be achieved – focuses on five Earthshots: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate. All solutions must be ‘rooted in science’ and able to ‘generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions’.
“The winners will each receive £1 million to support their work,” Prince William said, with all finalists set to receive tailored support from the Earthshot Prize Global Alliance to help them ‘scale their solutions and grow their leadership’.
Here are the finalists for each Earthshot:
Protect and Restore Nature
Pole Pole Foundation, Democratic Republic of Congo, for its work protecting the Congo basin, to fight climate change
The Republic of Costa Rica, for its system of conservation areas designed to protect 6% of the world’s biodiversity.
Restor, Switzerland, labelled a ‘google maps for restoration’ that supports anyone across the globe who is managing biodiversity
Clean Our Air
Blue Mapp App, China, – tracks the air, water quality and millions of emitters across China
Takachar, India, is converting waste into fertilisers.
Vinisha Umashankar, India, the solar ironing cut, it replaces charcoal with solar energy; and with the solar ironing card ironing vendors can earn more and save more.
Revive our Oceans
Coral Vita, Bahamas, is reviving oceans by growing climate change resilient corals.
Living Sea Walls, Australia, is returning marine life to marine built structures.
Pristine Seas (National Geographic), USA, is creating marine protected areas with the goal to protect at least 30% of ocean by 2030.
Build a Waste-Free World
City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, initiatives to reduces food waste.
Sanergy, Kenya, is building a waste-free world by producing insect protein and organic fertiliser from organic and sanitation waste to clean up fast-growing cities.
Wota Box, Japan, a technology succesful in recycling 98% of wastewater for reuse.
Fix our Climate
AEM Electrolyser, global, is turning electricity from the sun and wind into emission-free green hydrogen.
Reeddi Capsules, Nigeria, pioneers technology that makes clean and affordable electricity easily accessible.
Solbazaar, Bangaldesh, is an energy exchange platform integrating ict infrastructure and IoT devices allowing for affordable access to clean energy in remote areas.
Prince William said the awards ceremony, taking place at London’s Alexandra Palace on 17 October, ‘will be a global broadcast event’ with viewers worldwide able to watch on Discovery.
St Andrews Prize for the Environment
The University of St Andrews, Prince William’s alma mater, this week announced the three finalists that will compete for its 2021 St Andrews Prize for the Environment. St Andrews, which was named today as the number one university in the UK, in the Times League Table: Good University Guide – the first time in the league’s history that either Oxford or Cambridge have failed to take top spot, launched the prestigious prize in 1998, to recognise international environmental projects making an impact in areas including community development, conservation, biodiversity and sustainability.
There are three finalists: Finland’s Snowchange Cooperative, a network of indigenous communities advancing re-wildling and ecosystem restoration practices; Planet Indonesia, which champions a rights-based approach at a village level to tackle biodiversity loss, food security, and gender equality issues; and Cities Without Hunger, an initiative that promotes urban agriculture in Brazil to combat malnutrition among the poorest populations.
The winner of the US$100,000 first prize will be announced at a live event on 5 October – the two runners up will receive $25,000.