British Prince Williams has created a new environmental award in an effort to encourage citizens to create solutions to the pressing issue of global warming and climate change. The Prince has dedicated $65 million towards the cause and will be awarded for the first time in 2021. The prize will be called the Earthshot prize and will be awarded annually to five people or organizations that successfully address one of the problems of protecting and restoring nature, cleaning the air, reviving oceans, building a waste-free world, or fixing the climate. Similar to the prestige of the Nobel Prize, each winner of the Earthshot prize will receive the equivalent of $1.3 million USD.
The effort is among the first of many global leaders who are now working tirelessly to address the issue of the current climate crisis. Just two weeks ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced California’s plan of banning the sale of gasoline cars by the year 2035. These series of laws and orders come with a recent surge in the effect of climate change from the recent hurricanes to the devastating fires on the west coast. The Prince states that “the next ten years are a critical decade for change,” noting how we are in an imminent and closing period to work towards mitigating climate change before it is too late.
Global warming and environmental regulations have been long linked to politics, but it hasn’t been till recently, where the issue has become increasingly prominent. So much so, that the topic is one of the highest on the list for presidential debates to see how we can mitigate climate change from a political standpoint. Some of the obvious consequences of climate change have been the devastating forest fires, hurricanes, and natural disasters in general which have constantly increased year over year as a result of climate change. Many people, however, are immune to these natural disasters and hence do not feel its powerful effect. Many argue that economic development should continue and flourish before addressing climate change, while scientists argue that it may be too late to address it if we leave it off.
There’s no doubt climate change will be a hot topic for years to come, but with politicians slowly shifting towards actively addressing climate change through creating regulations or offering new awards like Prince William’s, the world seems to be taking the right step in the fight.