Over the last ten years, the evidence that we face urgent challenges to protect the environment has become indisputable, and it’s clear that the time to act is now. Drawing inspiration from the concept of moonshots, which since the moon landing in 1969 has become shorthand to talk about the most ambitious and ground-breaking goals, Prince William announces the Earthshot Prize: an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet.
A set of unique challenges, rooted in science, will aim to generate new ways of thinking, as well as new technologies, systems, policies and solutions. Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalysed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, we want our Earthshot challenges to create a new wave of ambition and innovation around finding ways to help save the planet.
The challenges will be a chance for everyone’s voice to be heard, we want to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers . Our prizes will reward progress across all sectors of industry and society, not just technology. 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.
In what is set to be a ‘super year’ for the environment with crucial summits including the Convention on Biodiversity in China and the COP26 Climate Change Conference in the UK, we will unveil a small number of Earthshot challenges in special events around the globe. These challenges will seek answers to the biggest issues currently facing the planet, including: climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.
We will be awarding a prestigious prize to 5 winners per year over 10 years. Through this, and the winners work following each initial challenge, we hope to be able to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030. An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030.
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As The Earthshot Prize grows, we want to hear from like-minded people and companies who look at the biggest issues facing our planet. If you think you will be able to play a part in the future, provide your details here.