The Duke of Cambridge and the judges of the Earthshot Prize have called on the world to “harness that spirit of invention” which led to the development of Covid-19 vaccines to help save the planet.
William launched the ambitious project in October with his Royal Foundation, aiming to recognise solutions, ideas and technologies that “repair the planet”.
A letter to the editor of The Times – signed by the awards’ judges, who include the duke, Sir David Attenborough, Queen Rania of Jordan, actress Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira Mebarak – called on the public to recognise and combat the climate crisis.
“This Earth Day, as the Leaders Summit on Climate kicks off the countdown to November’s Cop26 climate conference in the UK, we must be inspired by the ingenuity and determination of the past year,” the group said.
“We must transform our relationship with our planet, learning from those already living in harmony with nature and recognising that we all have a part to play.
“As people worldwide queue for their vaccinations, now is the time to harness that spirit of invention and give the Earth a shot too.”
More than 100 nominating partners spanning seven continents on November 1 began the search for the first winners of what the duke hopes will become the Nobel Prize of the environmental world.
The Earthshot Prize takes its inspiration from the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements, and features five categories, or Earthshots, which organisers say, if achieved by 2030, would improve life for all.
Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners of the five Earthshots will each receive £1 million after being picked by a judging panel of William and other prominent figures.
A panel of experts will support the judging process, making recommendations to the Earthshot Prize Council, with the first awards ceremony in London next year.