WIL­LIAM: 10 YEARS TO SAVE WORLD

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Rebecca English Royal Correspond­ent

HU­MAN­ITY risks ir­repara­bly dam­ag­ing the Earth with cli­mate change, Prince Wil­liam warned last night.

His dra­matic in­ter­ven­tion came as Bri­tain recorded its hottest De­cem­ber day and un­prece­dented wild­fires tore across drought-stricken Aus­tralia.

Wil­liam said the Earth was at a ‘tip­ping point’ and hu­mans had just ten years to save the world.

We can either con­tinue on our present course and ‘ir­repara­bly dam­age the planet’ or use our ‘ unique power’ to solve the cli­mate cri­sis for gen­er­a­tions to come, he added. In­vok­ing Nasa’s mis­sions to the Moon, the prince yesterday launched an am­bi­tious ‘ Earthshot Prize’ to spear­head a decade of ac­tion. The award, which has been en­dorsed by Sir David At­ten­bor­ough, will grant mil­lions of pounds to those who can come up with so­lu­tions to global warm­ing.

Wil­liam’s in­volve­ment sig­nals a

de­ter­mi­na­tion to fol­low his fa­ther Charles’s lead on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

Palace of­fi­cials say he hopes to build a unique coali­tion of sci­en­tists, econ­o­mists, ac­tivists, lead­ers, gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses, phi­lan­thropists, cities and coun­tries.

The Earthshot Prize will cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of five in­di­vid­u­als, teams or or­gan­i­sa­tions each year for the next decade. Kens­ing­ton Palace said Wil­liam wanted the world to show the spirit of Project Apollo in the 1960s and 1970s.

Nasa’s ‘ Moon­shot’ mis­sions helped de­velop in­no­va­tions such as so­lar pan­els, CAT scan­ners, smoke de­tec­tors and ad­vanced wa­ter fil­ters. Wil­liam in­sisted that the same level of am­bi­tion and in­ge­nu­ity could solve the cli­mate cri­sis.

‘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,’ he said.

‘Re­mem­ber the awe-in­spir­ing civil­i­sa­tions that we have built, the life- sav­ing tech­nol­ogy we have cre­ated, the fact 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.’

It is un­der­stood that the sec­ond in line to the throne con­sulted his fa­ther, who is ar­guably the Royal Fam­ily’s most pas­sion­ate green cam­paigner, as well as his grand­fa­ther, the Duke of Ed­in­burgh.

In pre­vi­ous roles, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent of the World Wildlife Fund, the duke has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the de­bate on the nat­u­ral world.

Back in 2001 he said: ‘We can’t make the Earth any big­ger and we can’t squeeze any more out of its nat­u­ral re­sources with­out chang­ing its whole char­ac­ter and dam­ag­ing its sys­tems.’

Sir David, who helped launch the prize yesterday by nar­rat­ing an on­line video to mark the oc­ca­sion, was the first per­son Wil­liam dis­cussed his idea with out­side of the royal house­hold.

The film was sub­ti­tled in seven lan­guages, in­clud­ing Chi­nese and Span­ish.

The vet­eran broad­caster said: ‘The spirit

‘The chal­lenges are daunt­ing’

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.’

It is hoped that the Earthshot Prize will equal the No­bel Peace Prize within a few years in terms of its sig­nif­i­cance.

A royal aide said: ‘The pic­ture looks very bleak at the mo­ment, but Wil­liam was keen to har­ness the op­ti­mism that clearly ex­ists through­out the world as well as all that in­no­va­tion and tal­ent, too. And this doesn’t just ap­ply to big cor­po­ra­tions or aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions. This is about in­di­vid­u­als, school and com­mu­ni­ties. Earthshot is open to any­one and ev­ery­one.’

De­tails of the award are still be­ing ironed out but five win­ners will be cho­sen each year be­tween 2021 and 2030 and recog­nised at a cer­e­mony held in dif­fer­ent cities.

Prince Wil­liam’s team points to grow­ing con­cern over ris­ing tem­per­a­tures and over the pres­sures on nature, bio­di­ver­sity, the oceans, air pol­lu­tion and fresh wa­ter.

The prizes will re­ward those who have found so­lu­tions in what the palace says is a push for ‘fresh op­ti­mism and ac­tion’ to re­place the ‘ cur­rent pes­simism around the environmen­t’.

The prize will be funded by pri­vate donors and by Wil­liam and Kate’s Royal Foun­da­tion, the um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion for the cou­ple’s char­i­ta­ble work.

Al­ready more than 60 or­gan­i­sa­tions and ex­perts have been con­sulted to de­velop the prize.

Colin But­field, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the World Wide Fund for Nature, wel­comed the ini­tia­tive, say­ing: ‘Ad­vances in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and global com­mu­ni­ca­tions mean we now know with as­ton­ish­ing de­tail what hap­pens if we don’t re­verse the dam­age to our planet.

‘But what if we use those same ad­vances to change di­rec­tion? In just ten years we can go from fear to hope, from dis­as­ter to dis­cov­ery and from in­er­tia to in­spi­ra­tion. The Earthshot Prize chal­lenges us all to make this the decade that we build a fu­ture to be proud of.’

Dr M San­jayan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Con­ser­va­tion In­ter­na­tional, added: ‘We have a very small win­dow – ten years – to jolt earth onto a path of sus­tain­abil­ity.

‘It can sound terrifying – or it can sound like one of his­tory’s great­est op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘Yes, the chal­lenges are daunt­ing. But how we re­act is still, in this sliver of time left, en­tirely up to us

– and that is what the Earthshot Prize is all about. It’s about this op­por­tu­nity in front of us, right now, to choose to put our en­er­gies to­ward tak­ing ac­tion and un­cov­er­ing so­lu­tions, to choose to cre­ate the fu­ture we want over set­tling for the one that we fear.’

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