Prince William has announced a multi-million pound prize for “visionaries” working to solve “Earth’s greatest environmental problems,” from climate change to air pollution. The Earthshot Prize will be awarded to five winners, every year, for the next 10 years. The initiative’s goal is to provide “at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”
The prize was designed by and will initially be handled by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — headed by Prince William and Kate Middleton. More than 60 organizations and experts were consulted in the process; in time, the Earthshot Prize will likely become an independent organization that continues to involve environmental NGOs, according to a press release from Kensington Palace.
This year, the initiative will debut a series of “Earthshot challenges,” according to its website, with a goal of “[seeking] answers to the biggest issues currently facing the planet, including: climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water.”
The prize aims to encourage transformative environmental solutions — especially for communities most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Earthshot Prize winners will involve a significant cash-prize, as well as public recognition at an annual ceremony. Submissions will be accepted from “individuals, teams or collaborations — scientists, activists, economists, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries,” the press release notes, with a goal of sparking a global movement by inspiring “collaborative projects that would not otherwise have been pursued.”
The prize is inspired by the concept of moonshots — a phrase first coined in the aftermath of the 1969 lunar landing to refer to pioneering projects and initiatives. “Just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s catalyzed new technology such as the MRI scanner and satellite dishes, the Earthshots aim to launch their own tidal wave of ambition and innovation,” a press release for the initiative states.