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Costa Rica, Italian city among first 5 winners of Prince William's 'Earthshot Prize'

Costa Rica, Italian city among first 5 winners of Prince William's 'Earthshot Prize'
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive on Sunday  for the inaugural Earthshot Prize ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, Britain. Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince William on Sunday night announced the winners of his first-ever "Earthshot Prize," a new effort to inspire and motivate people and governments around the world to find solutions for climate change and other environmental challenges.

William was joined by celebrities and other well-known attendees during the event, including musical group Coldplay. The winners each receive a $1.4 million grant to help fund their ideas.

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The winners of the inaugural award were the government of Costa Rica; the city of Milan, Italy; India-based company Takachar; clean energy company Enapter; and coral reef company Cora Vita.

Costa Rica won in the "Protect and Restore Nature" category for developing a project that pays residents to plant trees and restore ecosystems.

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Milan won the "Build a Waste-Free World" prize for an initiative to feed hungry residents with excess amounts of food that would otherwise be thrown out by grocery stores and other producers.

Mohan won in the "Clean our Air" category for working to convert pollutants produced by India's agriculture sector into biofuels and fertilizers.

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The Bahamas' Coral Vita initiative won in the "Revive our Oceans" category for developing a system to grow new corals on land that can be placed into oceans to rehabilitate reefs that have been harmed by warmer waters.

The international Enapter project won in the "Fix our Climate" category for its AEM Electrolyser -- an efficient way to create emissions-free hydrogen gas from renewable electricity.

Prince William announced the Earthshot Prize two years ago and said it was inspired by former U.S. President John F. Kennedy's call to voyage to the moon, a program called "Moonshot" by many involved in the effort.

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Prince William will name five winners of the prize every year until at least 2030.

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