Prince William announces 'decade of action' to help save planet Earth

31 December 2019, 11:02

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have teased a major announcement coming in the New Year
Prince William has announced a major environmental campaign. Picture: PA/Twitter

By Kate Buck

Prince William has announced a major plan of action to help save the earth.

The Duke of Cambridge announced he will be kick-starting the new decade with The Earthshot Prize: an "ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet."

Kensington Palace said William had spoken with his family about the project and "looks forward to involving as many of them as possible".

He also consulted with veteran broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough in an attempt to provide solutions "to the world's greatest problems".

Kensington Palace said multimillion-pound prizes will be awarded annually to five winners around the world, in each year of the 2020s, in an initiative that draws inspiration from US President John F Kennedy's ambitious Moonshot lunar space programme of the 1960s.

In a statement, he said: "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.

"Remember the awe inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the moon.

"People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests - a decade of action to repair the Earth."

William and Kate have announced a major environmental initiative
William and Kate have announced a major environmental initiative. Picture: Duchess of Cambridge

The challenges will be rooted in science to generate new ways of thinking, technologies, policies and solutions.

Each year throughout the decade, five winners will be awarded what they describe as "prestigious prizes" for their work to dedicated through the environment.

Through this, the initiative hopes to provide at least 50 solutions to the world's "greatest problems" by 2030.

An annual awards ceremony will take place in different cities across the world each year between 2021 and 2030.

Sir David Attenborough was part of a launch with a special film.

He said: "The spirit of the Moonshot can guide us today as we confront the serious challenges we face on earth."This year Prince William and a global alliance launch the most prestigious environment prize in history.

"The Earthshot Prize. A global prize designed to motivate and inspire a new generation of thinkers, leaders and dreamers to think differently.

"Visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time.”

Among those who congratulated the Cambridge's on their new venture was London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said: "With every day that passes, the urgency of the world’s environmental challenges becomes clearer.

"Great initiative by @KensingtonRoya & @EarthshotPriz to inspire our smartest minds to address our greatest problems: the emergencies facing our natural world."

The duke, who is patron of the Tusk conservation charity among others, has previously warned that the clock is ticking towards a time when Man's impact on the environment will be irreversible.

William, who is also president of umbrella conservation group United For Wildlife, has also spoken out repeatedly against the ivory trade.