Prince William and David Attenborough shoot high to save the planet

Isabel Lamb reports on the prestigious new 'Earthshot Prize'

Isabel Lamb
27th October 2020
Prince William, a member of the British royal family, and Sir David Attenborough, arguably a royal of the animal kingdom, have announced the launch of their brand new Earthshot Prize.

Comprised of five goals, known as ‘Earthshots,’ and backed by an international collection of philanthropists and organisations, it aims to encourage a new generation of global thinkers, activists, and intellectuals to challenge environmental change by 2030.

Over the next ten years, the Earthshot Prize pledges to annually award five one million pound prizes, one per ‘Earthshot’, to those who have the largest positive impact on environmental change and help to improve global living standards. The winners can be anyone from individual scientists and small scale community projects to entire cities and countries, and are decided upon by the Earthshot Prize Council, whose members include athletes, CEOs, politicians, royalty, and even an astronaut.

The five goals of the Prize aim to improve life for everyone everywhere by 2030 and beyond. They are underpinned by global scientific targets and by bringing them together, the Earthshot Prize hopes that the urgency required to tackle all five simultaneously will be realised.

What are the five 'Earthshots'?

1) To protect and restore nature

The stability of the world we inhabit is vital. The Prize pushes for the repair and preservation of all habitat types, promoting growth rather than decline of nature by eliminating illegal wildlife trafficking and encouraging reforestation.  

2) To clean our air

By 2030, the Earthshot Prize aims for everyone to breathe clean air. To achieve this, they are searching for those who are working towards removing out-of-date transport, implementing sources of renewable energy, and confronting pollution.  

3) To revive our oceans

Our oceans are in peril. To heal, they require humanity to continue developing technology that does not just preserve, but revives coral reefs and marine species on the brink of extinction. Implementing sustainable fishing methods to fight declining stocks is a priority.

Credit: Pexels

4) To build a waste-free world

The Prize wants fresh, cutting-edge technology and methods that eliminate food waste and single-use packaging, and instead encourage the reuse, repurpose, and recycling of all forms and types of materials.

5) To fix our climate

To combat climate change, we must work towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, by removing more carbon from our atmosphere than we put in. The Prize is looking for those who are helping people affected by climate change, building defences and rebuilding lives.  

Credit: Kelly Lacy via Pexels.

The Earthshot Prize appears to be a collaborative, inclusive award that should set a precedent for rapid action to tackle the pressing issues of environmental change affecting every species on the planet. The incentive to act will hopefully inspire a plethora of innovative, ground-breaking ideas and technologies that will help to combat the ongoing struggle of planet Earth.    

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Featured Image: Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

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