Prince William and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced a new series of prizes aimed at inspiring and rewarding environmental action over the next decade on Tuesday.
Prince William aims to use the Earthshot Prize — inspired by the famous term “Moonshot,” which refers to the ambitious mission to land a man on the moon — to inspire “a decade of action to repair our planet,” according to an announcement video, narrated by David Attenborough.
Five prizes will be awarded every year during an annual ceremony, resulting in 50 champions worldwide by 2030.
The first awards will be handed out in 2021.
“The prizes could be awarded to a wide range of individuals, teams, or collaborations — scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries — anyone who is making a substantial development or outstanding contribution to solving our environmental challenges,” the Earthshot Prize website says.
"The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve." — The Duke of Cambridge @EarthshotPrizepic.twitter.com/SfGaKY9qsG— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 31, 2019
Some of the major environmental issues this prize aims to focus on include climate change, energy production, and pollution.
The UN warned back in 2018 that the world had 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe. A major overhaul of current energy practices is needed in order to avoid the most drastic effects of global climate change.
In addition, World Wildlife Foundation found that the level of plastic pollution is set to double by 2030, and CNN reported in 2019 that air pollution will cause around 7 million premature deaths this year.
Earthshot Prize is backed by a global coalition of philanthropists and organizations, and winners will be awarded a cash prize, according to Reuters. More details are expected at a later date, with future announcements to take place at events across the globe.