Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Prince William Officially Launches Earthshot, the Nobel of Environmental Prizes

Prince William Officially Launches Earthshot, the Nobel of Environmental Prizes
Britain's Prince William officially announced the launch of a $65 million-dollar prize to solve some of the climate crisis' most urgent challenges. WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images

Britain's Prince William officially announced the launch of a $65 million-dollar prize to solve some of the climate crisis' most urgent challenges, CNN reported.

Thursday's news added details to Prince William's original announcement of the Earthshot prize at the end of 2019, including the prize amount.

Starting in 2021, the Earthshot will award five prizes worth $1.3 million every year for the next decade. The prize's five "earthshot" categories cover protecting and restoring nature, improving air quality, reviving oceans, reducing waste and addressing climate change, CNN reported.

Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, said the prizes are available to anyone in the world with a creative solution in the aforementioned categories. Earthshot's website shares that the prize is open to "scientists, activists, economists, community projects, leaders, governments, banks, businesses, cities, and countries."

"There are wonderful people doing incredible things around the world, all within small communities everywhere," Prince William told CNN. "If one of them might have an amazing idea, we can scale that up, we can use that to really tackle some issues."

Prince William told BBC that he would like to continue his father's legacy of campaigning for environmental issues. "I feel right now it's my responsibility," he said.

While the formal announcement of the Earthshot prize came Thursday, Prince William has been developing it for the past two years. He and the Earthshot Prize Council will pick the winners.

The Earthshot Prize Council includes Sir David Attenborough, Chinese businessman Jack Ma, soccer player Dani Alves, Queen Rania of Jordan, Cate Blanchett and Shakira, among others, according to the Earthshot Prize Council webpage.

The Earthshot prize is funded by various individuals and organizations, including the WWF, Greenpeace, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Aga Khan Development Network, CNBC reported.

Nominations open on November 1.

Plastic bails, left, and aluminum bails, right, are photographed at the Green Waste material recovery facility on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in San Jose, California. Aric Crabb / Digital First Media / Bay Area News via Getty Images

By Courtney Lindwall

Coined in the 1970s, the classic Earth Day mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has encouraged consumers to take stock of the materials they buy, use, and often quickly pitch — all in the name of curbing pollution and saving the earth's resources. Most of us listened, or lord knows we tried. We've carried totes and refused straws and dutifully rinsed yogurt cartons before placing them in the appropriately marked bins. And yet, nearly half a century later, the United States still produces more than 35 million tons of plastic annually, and sends more and more of it into our oceans, lakes, soils, and bodies.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less