What is the Earthshot Prize and who will headline its awards ceremony?

What is the Earthshot Prize and who will headline its awards ceremony?

Prince William’s annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony will take place on Friday 2 December, rewarding five individuals or organisations for their contributions to environmentalism and promoting solutions to climate change.

Now in its second year, the extravaganza will be held at the MGM Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, and feature performances from pop superstars Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle.

The ceremony itself will be presided over by a starry lineup of presenters including the Prince and Princess of Wales themselves, Sir David Attenborough, American actors Rami Malek, Catherine O’Hara, Shailene Woodley and Daniel Dae Kim and British radio and TV personality Clara Amfo.

The visit to Boston sees the royals making their first trip abroad since the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in September, which saw William’s father become King Charles III and succeed his late mother on the British throne.

Prince William first conceived of his eco prize after visiting Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya in the autumn of 2018, where he was moved by the work being undertaken by local communities and conservationists to safeguard the natural world.

“The prize has become the prince’s Superbowl moment of the year, and he looks forward to continuing to use the platform each year to shine a light on some of the most impactful projects doing amazing things around the world to save our planet’s future,” a royal spokesperson said of the project.

Intended to run from 2021 until 2030, the Earthshot Prize rewards forward-thinking environmentalists with £1m grants from the Royal Foundation, meaning that £50m will have been handed over to green causes by its conclusion at the end of the decade in order to help the winners “support and scale” their innovations.

There are 15 finalists in contention for this year’s honours, all of whom are engaged in the development of green technology and who have been called “deeply inspiring” by Sir David.

“They are dedicating their lives to building solutions that will repair our planet,” the legendary BBC naturalist said.

Billie Eilish will headline the entertainment in Boston (PA)
Billie Eilish will headline the entertainment in Boston (PA)

There are two British contenders in the running: Notpla, a London-based start-up run by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez involved in turning seaweed and plants into biodegradable packaging in the hope of eradicating single-use plastic; and Low Carbon Materials from County Durham, an initiative to turn otherwise non-recyclable waste materials into carbon-zero concrete building blocks.

You can find out more about the rest of this year’s finalists and last year’s winners on the project’s official website.

The Earthshot Prize will be taped on Friday but broadcast in the UK on Sunday 4 December on BBC One from 5.30pm and will also be streamable via the organiser’s YouTube channel.