Prince William’s £1m environmental prize

The inaugural awards ceremony took place last night for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize – giving £1m to companies or people that are building solutions to fight climate change

Pathway to COP26 report

Prince William held an inaugural awards ceremony in Alexandra Palace last night for his environmental prize – the Earthshot Prize – alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and artists such as Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

The awards were given to various people or companies based on their solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet and their ability to scale these solutions to help fight climate change.

There were five winners, each of which received £1 million in prize money, as well as a global network of professional and technical support to help scale their solutions.

The winners included:

  • The entire country of Costa Rica, for its reforestation approach and work in rebuilding its damaged ecosystems.
  • An Indian company called Takachar, whose machine converts crop residue into sellable bioproducts like fuel and fertiliser – if scaled, its projected to cut one billion tonnes of carbon emissions each year and help India’s farmers tackle climate change.
  • Bahamian company Coral Vita, which grows coral on land to replant oceans at a rate that is reportedly 50 times faster than traditional methods.
  • The city of Milan’s Food Waste Hubs, which aims to halve the city’s waste by 2030. Three are currently setup, recovering around 350kg of food per day, which equates to around 260,000 meals.
  • Thai company Enapter, for its AEM Electrolyser technology, that converts renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas. It aims to account for 10% of the world’s hydrogen generation by 2050.

Prince William said: “We are alive in the most consequential time in human history… The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next 1,000.

“A decade doesn’t seem long but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable.

“Many of the answers are already out there… but we need everyone, from all parts of society, to raise their ambition and unite in repairing our planet. The future is ours to determine and if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.”

Following in his father’s footsteps in relation to climate action, Prince Charles revealed how proud he was of his son: “I am very proud of my son, William, for his growing commitment to the environment and the bold ambition of the Earthshot Prize.

“As a world, we need to come together to inspire, reimagine and build the sustainable future we so desperately need. Over the coming decade, with future generations in mind, the Earthshot Prize, and its inspirational nominees, will help us find the innovative solutions.

“In parallel, through my Terra Carta and Sustainable Markets Initiative, we will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars required to transition the global economy onto a more sustainable trajectory.

“Together, with all those who join us, we have a real opportunity to deliver a brighter future for humanity while restoring harmony between nature, people and planet.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast