Prince William Launches the $65 Million Earthshot Prize Fund to "Repair Our Planet"

William's initiative will award five £1 million prizes every year for the next ten years, with the aim of achieving five environmental goals or "Earthshots."

swansea, united kingdom february 04 prince william, duke of cambridge arrives at the rnli lifeboat station on mumbles pier on february 4, 2020 in swansea, wales photo by polly thomasgetty images
(Image credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth)
  • Prince William has launched (opens in new tab) the Earthshot Prize, a £50 million (about $65 million) effort to repair the planet.
  • The initiative will award five £1 million prizes every year for the next ten years, with the aim of achieving five environmental goals or "Earthshots."
  • The five goals: protect and restore nature, revive the oceans, clean the air, fix the climate, and build a waste-free world.

Well, this is pretty huge! Prince William has launched a £50 million environmental endeavor named the "Earthshot Prize" which aims to transform the planet by 2030. Described as "the most prestigious global environment prize in history," the effort will see five £1 million prizes awarded every year for the next ten years, with the aim of turning "the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by highlighting the ability of human ingenuity to bring about change, and inspiring collective action."

William said he felt the endeavor was "[his] job and [his] responsibility," as the Guardian reports (opens in new tab), citing father Prince Charles and naturalist David Attenborough among his inspirations. "We felt that the one piece of the jigsaw that was maybe missing was positivity," he explained. "I felt very much that there’s a lot of people wanting to do many good things for the environment and what they need is a bit of a catalyst, a bit of hope, a bit of positivity that we can actually fix what’s being presented."

According to the Earthshot Prize website (opens in new tab), the incentive was inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Moonshot" initiative, which aimed to put astronauts on the moon. The new prize highlights five goals or "Earthshots": "protect and restore nature," "clean the air," "revive our oceans," "build a waste-free world," and "fix our climate." (The prize is "certainly ambitious," William said.)

The Earthshot Prize council—which includes Attenborough, Queen Rania of Jordan, economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, actor Cate Blanchett, former basketball player Yao Ming, and singer Shakira—will help select the prize winners. Prizes will be awarded to "individuals, communities, businesses and organisations" who present solutions to the five goals.

"We believe this decade is one of the most crucial decades for the environment," William said. "And by 2030 we really hope to have made a huge stride in fixing some of the biggest problems on Earth."

RELATED STORIES

london, united kingdom july 10 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time prince harry, duke of sussex and prince william, duke of cambridge watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the royal air force from the balcony of buckingham palace on july 10, 2018 in london, england the 100th birthday of the raf, which was founded on on 1 april 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new queens colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over buckingham palace photo by max mumbyindigogetty images

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.