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In this handout photo provided by Kensington Palace, Britain's Prince William sits at a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range, situated in the Chitral District of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province in October 2019.
Kensington Palace/AP
Environment

Prince William Will Award 50 Environmental Heroes With Earthshot Prize

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Environmental problems such as climate change and pollution disproportionately affect the world’s poorest citizens. The United Nations urges countries to prioritize the health of the planet in the decade ahead. You can join us by taking action on issues affecting Global Goal 13: climate action and others here.

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.

Some of the major environmental issues this prize aims to focus on include climate change, energy production, and pollution.

From the supporters of the Green New Deal to the architects of the Paris climate agreement, there’s broad consensus that the next decade will be critical in the fight to protect the environment.

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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.