The Duke of Cambridge has announced two young climate change campaigners will be joining the judging panel of his ambitious £50 million Earthshot Prize.
William described Luisa Neubauer and Ernest Gibson as bringing “much needed youthfulness and expertise and activism” to the project’s prize council, which includes broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, actress Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira.
Speaking during a video call with the campaigners, the duke told them: “So it’s fantastic to have not only two inspirational people who care an awful lot about the environment and the climate, but also, you know, young people.
“I’m not young any more, so it’s nice to have you guys leading the charge.
“It’s all our futures but it’s particularly your future and also I think the youth movement has shown just how important the environment and climate is being held, and that’s been really interesting to watch young people around the world speak up a lot about it.”
Luisa Neubauer, 25, is the face of the Fridays for Future movement in Germany, similar to Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s climate strike movement that inspired millions of youngsters across the world to protest by refusing to go to classes.
Fijian Ernest Gibson is the co-coordinator for 350 Fiji, a regional youth-led climate change network, and a member of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s new Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.
Speaking about the Earthshot Prize, Mr Gibson told William: “I’m tired of being told that you can’t do something or being told that ‘…this is a lost cause’ or … we’re on a course that we can no longer change, and I think this provides a level of hope that’s enormously needed now.
“What we need now is solutions because we don’t have time for anything else, we have 10 years basically to be able to turn this ship around.”
William’s Earthshot Prize takes its inspiration from the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements, and features five categories, or Earthshots, which organisers say if achieved by 2030 would improve life for all.
Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners of the five Earthshots will each receive £1 million after being picked by the judging panel.