Members of The Earthshot Prize Council have signed an open letter calling on the world to channel the same spirit of innovation and possibility from the fight against COVID to our greatest challenge: repairing our planet.
This Earth Day, the world is in the midst of the worst health emergency in over a century. Almost three million people have died. Lives have been put on hold, jobs lost, education halted.
But humanity is rising to the challenge. People everywhere have worn masks, stayed at home and made sacrifices for the greater good. The availability of vaccines after just a year is both a triumph of science and a victory for collaboration.
There is a long way to go. None of us are safe until everybody is safe. But we have learned what it means to pull together in the face of a truly global crisis.
These lessons apply not just to pandemics but to the most pressing challenge in human history: stopping the climate emergency. If we do not act in this decade, the damage to our planet will be irreversible, impacting not only those of us alive today but threatening the future of generations to come.
That’s why we’re backing the Earthshot Prize, a global initiative to discover and roll-out at scale solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems.
Inspired by President Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’, we’re focusing on five ‘Earthshot’ goals: oceans, air pollution, nature, climate and waste. Starting this autumn, we will award the Earthshot Prize to five winners, one per Earthshot, whose ideas make the most progress towards these goals. We will find and reward inclusive solutions which can repair the planet, help protect those most vulnerable to the changing climate, and create a healthier, cleaner and better life for us all. Five winners, every single year of this Earth-changing decade.
Now is the time. This Earth Day, as the Leaders’ Summit on Climate kicks off the countdown to November’s COP26 Climate Conference in the UK, we must be inspired by the ingenuity and determination of the past year. We must transform our relationship with our planet, learning from those already living in harmony with nature and recognising that we all have a part to play. A better future is possible.
As people around the world queue up for their vaccinations, now is the time to harness that same spirit of invention and give the Earth a shot too.
His Royal Highness Prince William
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Sir David Attenborough
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala