Projects that create fuel from agricultural waste, restore coral reefs and green hydrogen technology are among the winners of the Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize and will now receive support from companies to evolve their solutions.
The Earthshot Prize was first introduced in early 2020, and last October Prince William and Kate Middleton provided more information on how the Â£ 50million prize would be allocated until 2030 The areas of intervention of the funding are nature conservation and restoration; fight against air pollution; revive the oceans; build a world without waste and fight against climate change.
The Earthshot Prize Board selected its five winners out of a total of 15 finalists.
A program that pays citizens of Costa Rica to restore natural ecosystems was named one of the winning projects. Since the start of the program, Costa Rica’s forests have doubled in size, leading to an ecotourism boom and contributing $ 4 billion to the economy.
For Clean Air, a project in Takachar, India that creates fuel from agricultural waste while preventing pollution from burning crops has been selected by the council. It converts crop residues into salable products like fuel and fertilizers and helps reduce smoke emissions by up to 98%.
The Coral Vita project in the Bahamas was also selected as the winner. It introduces an innovative approach to growing coral by growing coral on land and then replanting it in the ocean, which can help grow it up to 50 times faster than traditional methods and improve resilience to the impact of climate change.
The Food Waste Hubs in Milan were also selected. Launched in 2019, the initiative collects food from local supermarkets and restaurants which then redistribute it via NGOs to citizens in need. Each of Milan’s food waste centers collects around 130 tonnes of food per year or 350 kg per day, or around 260,000 meal equivalents.
A green hydrogen technology in Germany was selected as the final winner. Enapter’s AEM electrolyser transforms renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas. Funding for the Earthshot Prize will help increase mass production and by 2050, Enapter aims to account for 10% of global hydrogen production.
Earthshot Prize Founder and Prize Board Member Prince William said: âOur five inspiring winners show that everyone has a role to play in the global effort to fix our planet. We need businesses, leaders, innovators and communities to act. And, at the end of the day, we need all of us to demand that solutions get the support they need. Because the success of our winners is our collective, global Earthshot.
Each winner will receive Â£ 1million to evolve and support their solutions, as well as personalized support from members of the Global Prize Alliance. The 15 finalists who took part in the final ceremony will receive Alliance support.
Prince William and the Royal Foundation officially launched their âGlobal Allianceâ of companies in September, which will help winners evolve their solutions. Within the Global Alliance are professional services firm Arup; Bloomberg; the âBig Fourâ accounting firm Deloitte; international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills; the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi; Ingka Group, Ikea’s parent company; technology giant Microsoft; African entertainment company The Multichoice Group; the health and beauty giant Natura & Co; the mobile network operators Safaricom and Vodacom; software company Salesforce; Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever and the Walmart grocery store.
The winners were chosen from the finalists by the Earthshot Prize Board which, in addition to the companies of the Global Alliance, includes representatives from nonprofits, universities, research organizations and philanthropic foundations. Besides Okonjo-Iweala, Nooyi and the prince himself, the council members include Sir David Attenborough, Christiana Figueres and Luisa Neubauer.
Over 200 projects have applied for a place on the Prize this year.
The ceremony brought together Prince William and Sir David Attenborough and included musical performances by Ed Sheeran, Yemi Alade, KSI, Coldplay and Shawn Mendes. The Duchess of Cambridge, David Oyelowo, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson and Mo Salah presented the prizes to the winners.