Written by: Kimberly White 

Prince William has launched a new initiative to solve the world’s most significant environmental problems. The Earthshot Prize aims to incentivize change and refocus global attention on finding solutions to the issues our planet faces. 

Initially announced in December 2019, the inspiration behind The Earthshot Prize comes from the concept of moonshots, a term coined by former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Since the 1969 moon landing, the term has become synonymous with ambitious and groundbreaking goals.

“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,” said Prince William. “People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

The Earthshot Prize is centered around five “Earthshots,” simple but ambitious goals for our planet. Each Earthshot is supported by scientifically agreed targets and measures such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Earthshots are:

  • Protect and restore nature
  • Clean our air
  • Revive our oceans
  • Build a waste-free world
  • Fix our climate

The Earthshot Prize will award £50 million over the next decade and is open to anyone making substantial contributions to achieving the Earthshots. Prize winners could hail from a myriad of backgrounds, including scientists, activists, economists, governments, cities, businesses, or banks. There will be five £1 million prizes awarded each year from 2021 through 2030. 

Winners will be selected by the newly established Earthshot Prize Council. 

Prince William has assembled a global team of leaders from the environmental, philanthropic, business, sporting, and entertainment worlds to serve on The Earthshot Prize Council. The Council consists of 13 members, including Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, television naturalist Sir David Attenborough, UN SDG Advocate and environmentalist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres, and actor Cate Blanchett. 

Nominations for the prize open on November 1st. Winners will be announced during a ceremony in London next year.

Header Image Credit: tsaiproject/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)