Celebrities will join Prince William in London on Sunday for the inaugural awards ceremony of his Earthshot Prize, an ambitious environmental program aiming to find new ideas and technologies around the world to tackle climate change and Earth’s most pressing challenges.
Judges including naturalist and veteran broadcaster David Attenborough, actor Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira are expected to attend the ceremony. Actors Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, and David Oyelowo will join Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in handing out the awards.
William and his charity, The Royal Foundation, launched the Earthshot Prize last year, inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 “Moonshot” speech that challenged and inspired Americans to go to the moon.
The prize, to be awarded to five winners every year until 2030, is billed as the most prestigious of its kind. Each winner will receive a grant worth 1 million pounds ($1.4 million) to develop and scale up their ideas.
“We are alive in the most consequential time in human history,” William said in a pre-recorded short film. “The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.”
“Many of the answers are already out there,” he added. “But we need everyone, from all parts of society to raise their ambition and unite in repairing our planet.”
The finalists include a 14-year-old student who proposes using solar energy to replace charcoal to power millions of roadside ironing carts in India; a land-based coral farm in the Bahamas to restore dying coral reefs; a community project in Congo devoted to protecting gorillas; and a Kenyan enterprise that turns organic waste into fertilizer and insect protein for farmers.
The ceremony comes days ahead of the COP26 U.N. climate change summit in Glasgow, which begins on Oct. 31.