Prince William launches 'Earthshot Prize' to help speed climate solutions

By Don Jacobson

Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, on Tuesday announced the launch of the Earthshot Prize, which seeks to reward new ideas on fighting climate change with multimillion-dollar grants.

The Duke made the announcement in a pair of Instagram posts on the official Kensington Palace account, including a photo of him taken by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, at a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range of Pakistan.


The Palace also released a video unveiling the program narrated by famed British actor and environmentalist David Attenborough.

"The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve," William wrote in the post.

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Referencing the famous U.S. "moonshot" of 1969 and the decade it took to achieve, the Duke added, "People can achieve great things. And the next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests -- a decade of action to repair the Earth."


Organizers said the Earthshot Prize seeks over the next 10 years to focus attention on the sustained level of effort needed to deal with increasingly dire warnings about the quickening pace of climate change.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in September that more than 1 billion people around the world could face severe water shortages and food insecurity by 2050 due to the effects of climate change. It called for world leaders to be more aggressive in slowing greenhouse gas emissions to help keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius.

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Kensington Palace said the prize has been set up to spark a global movement by rewarding new ideas to cut global emissions on a speedier time scale, as well as addressing issues such as biodiversity and fresh water.

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