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UPDATE 1-Accepting the baton, Britain's Prince William launches global environment prize

Thu, 8th Oct 2020 11:00

(Adds quotes, comment)

By Sarah Young

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William on
Thursday launched a multi-million-pound global prize aimed at
helping solve some of the world's climate change problems,
opening a new chapter in the royal family's decades-long
environmental campaigning.

The Earthshot Prize will award five one-million-pound
($1.29-million) prizes each year for the next 10 years under the
categories of protecting and restoring nature, cleaner air,
reviving oceans, waste-reduction and climate change.

William's grandfather, Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince
Philip, and his father Prince Charles have both spoken for
decades about the importance of conservation and the impact of
climate change, years before such ideas became mainstream.

William, the second-in-line to the throne, told BBC Radio it
was now his responsibility to take on that baton because the
world was at a tipping point and he owed it to his children and
grandchildren to leave the world in a better condition.

While he said he had often wondered what his father was
"banging on about" he realised now it had been a very hard sell
"to predict and see some of the slow-moving catastrophes that we
were headed towards".

"This is a generational baton-handling, my grandfather
started it, my father has picked it up and really accelerated
that and I feel right now that it's my responsibility, I really
feel that we are at a tipping point," he said.

Speaking alongside naturalist David Attenborough, William
said change was critical in the next decade to help protect and
restore the environment.

"By 2030 we really hope to have made huge strides in fixing
some of the biggest problems the Earth faces," William, 38,
said.

"I think that urgency with optimism really creates action.
And so the Earthshot Prize is really about harnessing that
optimism and that urgency to find solutions to some of the
world’s greatest environmental problems."

Nominations open on Nov. 1 ahead of the first awards
ceremony in the autumn next year.

Kensington Palace said the prize drew its inspiration from
U.S. President John F. Kennedy's Moonshot, which it said had
been synonymous with ambitious and ground-breaking goals since
the 1969 moon landing.

It said the prizes would provide at least 50 solutions to
the world’s environmental problems by 2030.

The Earthshot Prize Council will be set up to decide on the
winners with its members to include names from the
environmental, philanthropic, business, sporting and
entertainment worlds. They will be announced later on Thursday.
(Reporting by Sarah Young, additional reporting by James Davey;
Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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