Prince William announces finalists for environmental Earthshot Prize

Prince William announces finalists for environmental Earthshot Prize
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Prince William on Friday announced the finalists for the first-ever Earthshot Prize, an annual award established by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation to recognize achievements and push for more action on environmental issues. 

A total of 15 inaugural finalists were selected, with three individuals or groups picked for each of the prize’s five categories: "protect and restore nature," "clean our air," "revive our oceans," "build a waste-free world" and "fix our climate."

The finalists include individual activists; the city of Milan, Italy, for its food waste hubs; and the Republic of Costa Rica for its program aimed at protecting forests, planting trees and restoring ecosystems, according to the prize’s website

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One of the finalists for the “clean our air” category is a 14-year-old girl from India who developed a solar-powered ironing cart as a “clean alternative to the charcoal powered street irons that press clothes for millions of Indians each day.” 

Each of the finalists will receive support to help further develop their projects, with five winners receiving the top prize of 1 million pounds, or roughly $1.3 million. 

The top winners are scheduled to be announced at an awards ceremony on Oct. 17 in London, according to the prize’s website. 

Prince William said in a statement unveiling the finalists, “Over half a century ago, President Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon.” 

“Inspired by this, The Earthshot Prize aims to mobilise collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and repair our planet,” he added. 

The Duke added that all of the finalists “are working with the urgency required in this decisive decade for life on Earth and will inspire all of us with their optimism in our ability to rise to the greatest challenges in human history.”

According to the prize’s website, nominations for the inaugural finalists began in November 2020, with more than 750 applications received. 

The nominations were initially reviewed by a team at Deloitte, the prize’s implementation partner, before being assessed by a global expert advisory panel consisting of individuals from fields like conservation, investment, economics and politics.  

William said when announcing the initiative last year that the foundation has committed to selecting a new group of winners each year for the next decade, with a goal of reaching lasting climate solutions by 2030.