The $65m Earthshot Prize to save our planet

09 October 2020 by Acre
blog author

The search is on to find innovative solutions to repair the planet, as the prestigious environmental Earthshot Prize is launched by Prince William.

The Prince has joined forces with Sir David Attenborough to encourage people to come forward with innovative, workable projects which could help solve the world’s major environmental problems by 2030 and inject optimism at the same time.

Recognized as the largest environmental prize ever, with a total of £50m (c$65m) to be awarded over a decade, the Earthshot Prize aims to find new solutions that work on every level. It is hoped this will showcase at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems, which will have a positive effect on environmental change and improve living standards globally, particularly for those most at risk from climate change.

There are five challenges - or Earthshots - within the prize:

  • Protect and restore nature

  • Clean our air

  • Revive our oceans

  • Build a waste-free world

  • Fix our climate

Each Earthshot is underpinned by scientifically agreed targets including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Prize, which will comprise five £1m (c$1.3m) prizes each year for ten years, is open to anyone whose solutions could make a substantial contribution to achieving the Earthshots.

This means prizes could be awarded to individuals, teams or collaborations – from scientists, activists and economists to community projects, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities and even countries.

The Earthshot Prize is the biggest initiative so far from both Prince William and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which was first introduced last December. Since then, a coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations from across the globe has been established to maximize the impact of the Prize.

The name of the Prize is inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around the goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s.

On Thursday 8th October, world-leading wildlife filmmakers Silverback Films released a series of five short films, bringing each Earthshot to life, narrated by young climate activists including Bindi and Robert Irwin.

Prince William will award The Earthshot Prize to five winners (one per Earthshot) every year from 2021 until 2030 in different cities across the world, which he will do alongside The Earthshot Prize Council which covers six continents. 

Nominations will open on 1st November, with over 100 nominating partners from across the world being invited to submit nominations. Nominators will include the Global Alliance but also academic and non-profit institutions from across the world who have been selected for their ability to identify the most impactful solutions to the Earthshots.

Nominations will be screened as part of an independent assessment process run by Deloitte, and a panel of experts will support the judging process, making recommendations to the Prize Council who will select the final winners.

The first awards ceremony will take place in London in autumn 2021 and each winner will receive a global platform and prestigious profile, with their stories being showcased over the decade and the ambition that their solutions lead to mass adoption, replication and scaling. The £1m (c$1.3m) in prize money will support environmental and conservation projects agreed with the winners. Shortlisted nominees will also be given tailored support and opportunities to help scale their work.

The Earthshot Prize is a decade of action to unite the environmental world with funders, businesses and individuals to maximize impact and take solutions to scale, to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet.


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