Prince William has called on the nation to ‘transform its relationship with the planet’ and ‘give the Earth a shot too’ as it faces ‘the most pressing challenge in human history’.
The Duke of Cambridge joined other prominent figures, including Sir David Attenborough and actress Cate Blanchett, to urge people to ‘harness the spirit of invention’ as seen in the creation of Covid vaccines as we tackle climate change.
The royal also praised humanity for ‘rising to the challenge’ as the world continued to grapple with the ‘worst health emergency in more than a century’.
The duke’s calls comes just months after he launched his ambitious £50 million Earthshot Prize project with his Royal Foundation to help incentivise change and help repair the planet over the next ten years.
Prince William has called on the nation to ‘transform its relationship with the planet’ and urged people to ‘harness the spirit of invention’ as seen in the creation of Covid vaccines
The Duke of Cambridge joined other prominent figures, including Sir David Attenborough (left) and actress Cate Blanchett (right), as he called on the country to help tackle climate change
In a letter to The Times, the duke described how the lessons that had been learnt amid the coronavirus pandemic could also be applied to ‘the most pressing challenge in human history: stopping the climate emergency.’
He wrote: ‘If we do not act in this decade the damage to our planet will be irreversible, affecting not only those of us alive today but the future of generations to come. ‘
The duke went on to say that he would be awarding the Earthshot Prize to five winners whose ideas could help tackle issues concerning the plant’s oceans, air pollution, nature, climate and waste.
Each winner will receive £1 million to help develop their ideas into an action plan.
He added: ‘We must transform our relationship with our planet, learning from those already living in harmony with nature and recognising that we all have a part to play. A better future is possible.
‘As people worldwide queue for their vaccinations, now is the time to harness that spirit of invention and give the Earth a shot too.’
Also signing their names on the letter were Queen Rania of Jordan; diplomat Christiana Figueres; footballer Dani Alves; geographer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim and former chairperson and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi.
Engineer Naoko Yamazaki; economist Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; singer Shakira Mebarak and basketball player Yao Ming were also among the figures to join the duke’s calls.
The Earthshot Prize, which was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, is centred around five goals for our planet which if achieved by 2030 ‘will improve life for generations to come’.
The five goals for the next decade focus on protecting and restoring nature, fighting air pollution, reviving the oceans, building a waste-free world and fixing the climate.
Also signing their names to the letter were Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan (left) and geographer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (right)
Former chairperson and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi is also among the figures who signed the duke’s letter
Prince William talks with Sir David Attenborough during at the 49th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
The letter comes just weeks after the Duke of Cambridge said humanity needed to ‘fundamentally reset our relationship with nature and our trajectory as a species’ to avoid a climate disaster.
In a video message played at a gala for US-based charity Conservation International, Prince William said the next decade would be ‘one of our greatest ever tests’.
He warned the most vulnerable people around the world, ‘and those who have done the least to cause climate change’, would be impacted the most.
The duke urged those present to take their lead from the millions of young people who were booking for solutions to the problem.
‘All of us, across all sectors of society, and in every corner of the globe, must come together to fundamentally reset our relationship with nature and our trajectory as a species,’ he said.
‘I truly believe that humans have an extraordinary capacity to set goals and strive to achieve them.’
William added: ‘The remarkable development of the Covid-19 vaccine in record time is a case in point.’