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Prince William Teams Up With Shakira, Cate Blanchett, Queen Rania, and More for Earthshot Prize Council

08/10/2020

Prince William has brought together a list of global leaders from the worlds of entertainment, sports, and philanthropy to assemble a 13-strong council for his $65 million environmental prize.

Familiar faces on the influential and diverse panel include Cate Blanchett, Shakira, Queen Rania of Jordan, and basketball star Yao Ming, all of whom are currently engaged in environmental activism.

The Earthshot Prize prize council members, who represent six continents, will sit alongside the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough as they are supported by a scientific advisory panel to select five winners each year for the next ten years to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems by 2030.

“Your children, my children – they have to find ways to reduce carbon emissions, to repair our oceans, to clean the air,” Shakira said of the project. “So we need young minds to be informed and invested, which is why education is so important. But we can’t just stand still. We have to lead the way and we have to do it now. I know it’s ambitious and I know there will be so many challenges along the way but I also know there will be so many who will rise to the occasion.”

Blanchett adds, “All around the world, science and community-based initiatives are leading to ground-breaking inventions and solutions which, if provided with the platform and resources to be implemented on a larger scale, could have a significant and positive impact on the environment and global economy. The Earthshot Prize aims to do just that, and by providing this vital platform, we hope to refocus the narrative on climate change to one of hope and action.”

Also joining the group are Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves, Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres, former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Chinese business magnate and philanthropist Jack Ma, Japanese astronaut (and second Japanese woman to fly to space) Naoko Yamazaki, and Chad-born geographer Hindou Ibrahim. The thirteenth member is Nigerian economist and international development expert Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Nominations for the first Earthshot awards ceremony, which is taking place in London in the fall of 2021, will open on November 1, with over 100 nominating partners invited to cast their entries. Nominees can be communities, businesses, organizations, towns, cities, or even individuals—from a scientist leading a team of researchers to a 12-year-old boy making change to a small community in Kenya.

The group will be supported by a Global Alliance featuring a network of organizations around the world which have a shared goal of repairing the planet. Partners include WWF, Greenpeace, and Conservation International.

“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,” Prince William told BBC Radio 4’s Today show on October 8. “I think that urgency with optimism really creates action. And so The Earthshot Prize is really about harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest environmental problems.”

He added, “We believe that this decade is one of the most crucial decades for the environment and by 2030 we really hope to have made huge strides in fixing some of the biggest problems the earth faces.”

 

From Harper’s Bazaar US

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