Prince William sets bold new challenge – lucky winner could grab eye-watering £1M prize

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The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot prize sees judges award five £1m prizes to support innovative projects that “put our planet on a sustainable path and protect our world for generations to come”. Environmental projects have been urged to compete for the money, with a formal nomination process set to take place for the award’s second year.

Announcing nominations for the Earthshot Prize 2022 had opened earlier in January, William issued a call-to-arms for new ideas and pitches.

He said: “The 2021 winners and finalists have set the bar incredibly high.

“As the nominations for 2022 open, I can’t wait to see what solutions the prize helps to champion this coming year.

“In 2022, we are determined to go further by seeking even more nominations from every corner of the world, ensuring that we spotlight and scale the very best ideas and innovations that will put our planet on a sustainable path and protect our world for generations to come.”

The Zero Waste Scotland organisation has announced it has been appointed to formally nominate Scottish projects, with a plea for businesses and communities to come forward.

Iain Gulland, the chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said being chosen as official nominators were “a great reflection on the pioneering work we as a nation are already doing”.

“This is a tremendous and significant moment for people in Scotland, as well as Zero Waste Scotland.

“Zero Waste Scotland has long-been beating the drum for the ingenious and exciting work of citizens, communities, and businesses across Scotland, and to be able to help showcase their work on a global platform is a real honour.

“We encourage as many people as possible to submit their work to us over the next two weeks, to be in with the chance of winning life-changing, and earth-saving, support.”

Launched by William and Sir David Attenborough in 2020, 2022’s prize will see over 300 organisations from more than 80 countries shortlisted down to 30 nominations to find environmental and ecological solutions that could repair and regenerate the planet.

Five prizes are available in different categories, which are the restoration and protection of nature; air cleanliness; ocean revival; waste-free living; and climate action.

In 2021, winning Earthshot entries included coral reef farming, pioneering green hydrogen and entrepreneurial technology providing access to electricity in energy-poor countries.

Other winners included a city-wide food programme to eliminate waste, and The Republic of Costa Rica’s country-wide policy to halt deforestation and protect the rainforest.

The Earthshot Prize 2022 awards ceremony will take place in the US.

The final entry date for nominations set as March 4, although Zero Waste Scotland require Scottish entries before February 17.

For the latest round of awards, new key “tipping points” have been focused on by the prize panel, including extending the life of fashion, food and plastic products.

Earthshot will also prioritise indigenous and women-led solutions, along with financial models that value nature, out-of-the-box “wild cards” ideas, and concepts embracing Web3.0 – the theory of decentralising the web away from a handful of large tech giants.

During the first Earthshot Award on October 18 2021, William urged young people around the world to help repair the planet.

He said: “For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future, the Earthshot is for you.

“In the next 10 years, we are going to act. We are going to find solutions to repair our planet. Please keep learning, keep demanding change, and don’t give up hope.

“We will rise to these challenges.”

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