Last night, Britain’s Prince William presented the Earthshot Prize for the first time, an environmental award that he himself created. Milan, where they do everything they can to prevent food waste, was awarded. As do projects to restore coral reefs in Australia and restore forests in Costa Rica.

The awards were presented at a special gala in London attended by William and his wife Catherine. Prize winners took off with 1 million British pounds (1.19 million euros). 

‘Fate of humanity’

The British prince looked back to the first twenty years of this century. “We live in a time that determines the fate of humanity,” he said. “What we do or don’t do now is decisive for the next thousand years of our planet.”

According to William, all is not lost. Humanity has proven before in history to ‘solve the unsolvable’. The prince wants to award the prize annually for the next ten years, with five projects each receiving 1 million pounds to continue to shape their project.

“But we need everyone. Only together can we restore our planet,” the prince said at the event. “It’s up to us to determine the future. And if we’re really committed to it, nothing is impossible.”

The five awards in the various categories were presented by several celebrities, including Liverpool footballer Mo Salah and actress Emma Thompson. Catherine also presented one of the prizes. There were also performances by Coldplay, Yemi Alade, Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran.

  • Milan won the prize for its food waste plants. Useful food is extracted from the waste and then distributed to the poorest inhabitants of the city.
  • Costa Rica received the award for its programs in which the government pays citizens to plant trees and help restore ecosystems.
  • The Indian company Takachar won for the development of a portable machine that converts agricultural waste into fertilizers, so that farmers do not burn this waste and thus cause air pollution.
  • Coral Vita from the Bahamas won for a project where the organization grows coral in special water tanks, up to fifty times faster than that coral normally grows. 
  • A joint Thai-German-Italian team won with the project AEM Electrolyzer. It uses renewable energy to make hydrogen. Hydrogen is a clean gas, but is usually still produced by burning fossil fuels.