Prince William Announces the Earthshot Prize Winners
They include startups focused on protecting Andean forests, recycling batteries, and setting up a carbon market for soil.
The Earthshot Prize, an annual award by Prince William’s Royal Foundation, was given to five climate-focused startups on Tuesday. The winners — each of which will receive $1.2 million and “tailored support” from the prize’s “global alliance of partners” — were Acción Andina, a Peruvian initiative to protect Andean forests; GRST, a Hong Kong builder and recycler of lithium-ion batteries; S4S Technologies, an Indian project to combat food waste and reduce rural poverty; WildAid, a global nonprofit dedicated to improving ocean health; and Boomitra, a multinational company working to create a soil carbon marketplace.
“I choose to believe that future generations will look back on this decade as the point at which we globally took collective action for our planet… [and] became the architects of change towards a healthy and sustainable world,” Prince William said at the ceremony, which was held at Singapore's Theatre at MediaCorp.
The initiative launched in 2020 with the goal of boosting 50 such environmental solutions by 2030, each year awarding prizes in five categories: Protect and Restore Nature, Clean Our Air, Revive Our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World, and Fix Our Climate. Past winners include an Indian producer of small greenhouses that aims to help farmers become more climate-resilient, and a Thai company whose “plug and play" electrolyzers offer an innovative approach to creating clean hydrogen fuel.
This year’s winners were selected by the prince, former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Fijian climate activist Ernest Gibson, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and others. The ceremony was co-hosted by actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K. Brown, and celebrity presenters included Cate Blanchett and Robert Irwin, the 19-year-old son of the late Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin.
“It fills me with a lot of hope when there’s an incredible public figure, a real voice for change, who is putting his platform behind environmental issues,” Irwin said of Prince William. “And instead of focusing on all the ways the world is suffering, [The Earthshot Prize is] an initiative that … is a beacon of hope.”