Prince William’s inspiring new project may change history

While contentious debates rage in the United States regarding the end of environmentally devastating practices such as fracking, the United Kingdom is taking a more positive approach to climate change. On Thursday, Prince William announced the launch of a new project called the “Earthshot Prize” — the name inspired by the historic 1961 “Moonshot” program which sent the first man to the moon (via The New York Times). The project is offering a 1 million pound reward to as many as 50 projects offering innovative solutions to address climate change. That’s a 50 million pound, or $65 million, incentive to, in the prince’s own words, “turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism.”

The project will give five £1 million awards over each of the next ten years to groups or individuals offering solutions to tackle cleaning the air, protecting and restoring nature, reviving the oceans, tackling waste, and overall fixing the climate, in a similar fashion to the annual Nobel Prizes (via CNN). The aim is to have 50 solutions to these problems by the year 2030, and the project already has some big names lending their support.

Celebrities from all over the world are endorsing Prince William's new project

While you might assume the Earthshot prize council would be made up entirely of British scientists, that couldn’t be farther from the case. According to the official Earthshot Prize website, the global list of prize council members includes: Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Australian actress Cate Blanchett, professional soccer player Dani Alves of Brazil, former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi of the U.S. and India, former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki of Japan, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming of China, and singer Shakira of Colombia, in addition to several environment activists and climate change experts.

As for who is eligible for these impressive prizes, Prince William told Radio 4 that he hopes the project spans the entire world, “From communities, schools, right up to banks, governments, corporations – anyone and everyone is a part of this and anyone could find the solutions that we need” (via BBC). In fact, even “crackpot ideas” are welcome, according to Earthshot council member and natural historian Sir David Attenborough, seeing as the very future of mankind depends on these solutions being found (via CBS News).

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