Prince William wants EarthShot prize to recapture ‘optimism’ of moon landings

·2-min read

The Duke of Cambridge has said he wants his Earthshot Prize to recapture the “human ingenuity, purpose and optimism” associated with John F Kennedy’s Moonshot challenge.

The Earthshot Prize is an environmental award inspired by the Apollo Moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements.

Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners in five categories will receive £1 million prize money to support their environmental and conservation projects.

They will be recognised for new ideas, technologies, policies or solutions which tackle one of the five Earthshots: Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; and Fix our climate.

Organisers say that if all the projects are achieved by 2030, they would improve life for all.

Prince William will announce the award’s inaugural 15 finalists and their innovative solutions to “repair” the planet this Friday, with the five winners unveiled at a ceremony on 17 October.

In his introduction for the official book, Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet, the duke describes in detail the thoughts that led him to establish the ambitious initiative, which has a £50 million prize pot.

“I wanted to recapture Kennedy’s Moonshot spirit of human ingenuity, purpose and optimism, and turn it with laser-sharp focus and urgency on to the most pressing challenge of our time – repairing our planet,” he writes.

The prize is likely to be seen as William’s career-defining project, like his father’s Prince’s Trust or grandfather’s Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

William spent two years working on the project with his Royal Foundation, and the seeds of the idea were sown during a visit to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya in autumn 2018, when he met frontline conservation workers and those from local communities.

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