In October 2020, Prince William launched The Earthshot Prize, a £50 million global competition that aims to incentivise crucial environmental change needed this decade over five categories. Last weekend (17 October), five winners were announced in a dazzling live stream ceremony that saw them win £1 million each to scale their environmental solutions.
Over 750 nominations from around the world were submitted, from which 15 finalists were selected. The five winners include technological innovators, an entire country and a pioneering city and were selected by The Earthshot Prize Council for their groundbreaking solutions in solving the biggest environmental problems facing our planet.
The 2021 Earthshot Prize winners are:
The “Protect and Restore Nature” Earthshot was awarded to the country of Costa Rica for its efforts to reforest areas that had been devastated by deforestation. In the 1990s, the government implemented programmes that paid citizens to protect forests, plant trees and restore ecosystems. Today, the country’s forests have doubled in size and the ecotourism created contributes USD$4 billion to the economy each year. The government now wants to share its successes with other countries to protect 30% of the world’s land and oceans.
The “Clean Our Air” Earthshot was awarded to an Indian company called Takachar that reduces agricultural waste by converting crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertiliser. Takachar’s technology reduces smoke emissions by up to 98%, which, if scaled, could cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
The “Revive Our Oceans” Earthshot was awarded to a company in the Bahamas called Coral Vita, which grows coral on land to replace in oceans. Its methods grow coral up to 50 times faster than traditional methods and improves resilience to the impact of climate change. They also work with local communities to educate them on the importance of coral ecosystems and provide new job opportunities.
The “Build a Waste-Free World” Earthshot was awarded to the city of Milan for its Food Waste Hubs, which aims to halve food waste by 2030 by recovering food mainly from supermarkets and companies’ canteens and distributing it to NGOs that give it to the neediest citizens.
Finally, the “Fix Our Climate” Earthshot was awarded to a company called Enapter whose AEM Electrolyser technology turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas. The technology also fuels cars and planes, powers industry and heats homes.
Besides the prize money, each winner will also gain access to a global network of professional and technical support from private companies and NGOs to scale their solutions to repair our planet.
Fashion For Good
The organisers of the prize evening also requested that guests refrain from buying new clothing for the evening. Celebrities who attended the event stunned in their sustainable outfits – here are some of our favourites:
The Harry Potter star and event presenter stepped out in a white gown fashioned out of 10 upcycled wedding dresses and black flared trousers, both designed by Harris Reed.
Prince William and Duchess Kate
Prince William wore a green velvet blazer he’s worn before while Duchess Kate stunned in a beautiful lilac Alexander McQueen dress from 2011.
Oscar winner Emma Thompson wore the same blue-and-black Stella McCartney suit that she wore when she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2018.
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