The first ever Earthshot Prize was held this Sunday 17th in London, England, an event that is the equivalent of the Nobel Prize but for environmental activities. Founded by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and renowned naturalist David Attenborough, Earshot’s goal is to encourage innovative solutions to our current environmental challenges. There were 5 total winners out of 750 nominees, and each one received an award of £1 million and support to continue and further develop their solutions. Here are the winners:
- Protect and Restore Nature Award: the Republic of Costa Rica won the award for their efforts of protecting rainforests and local ecosystems. The nation does this through a system of economic incentives to citizens that help with these ecological activities which reverses years of deforestation and led to a surge of ecotourism in the country.
- Clean Our Air Award: Indian company Takachar took home the prize for their innovative technology which aims to reduce agricultural waste incineration. An affordable, small-scale and portable device attaches to tractors, converting residues into fuel and fertilizers, resulting in a reduction of almost 98% of smoke emissions.
- Revive Our Oceans Award: Bahamas-based project Coral Vita won the award for their efforts of accelerating coral regrowth and restoring dying reefs. Their innovative method grows coral on land first, up to 50 times quicker, and then replants them in depleted underwater reefs.
- Food Waste Hubs Award: the prize was allocated to the city of Milan in northern Italy because of their pioneering efforts of enforcing city-wide policies to reduce food waste in supermarkets and restaurants and distributing it to their citizens in need. The city recovered around 130 tonnes of food annually, or the equivalent of 260,000 meals.
- Fix Our Climate Award: a Thai-German-Italian joint team won the award for their AEM Electrolyzer, a module that transforms water into clean, green hydrogen by splitting water into its constituent elements. Although green hydrogen isn’t new technology, what makes the AEM Electrolyzer so unique is how compact and easy-to-use the module is, making it accessible to lower-income countries and small businesses.
The overall raging success of the Earthshot was a huge win for environmentalists and climate-aware businesses. The Prize is sure to inspire a next generation of green innovators and encourage even more brilliant people to work on solutions.