In December, Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, will be traveling to Boston to unveil the winners of the Earthshot Prize, the award for climate change initiatives that William helped start in 2020. In advance of their trip, William and the prize committee announced the 15 finalists competing for five prize categories. The fifteen finalists represent 12 countries over five continents and include conservation and recycling programs along with technological innovations aimed at capturing carbon and reducing industrial waste.
In a statement, William praised the finalists. “The innovators, leaders, and visionaries that make up our 2022 Earthshot Finalists prove there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet,” he said. “They are directing their time, energy, and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come.”
The fifteen projects were selected by Earthshot’s expert advisory panel, and the winners will be chosen by the Earthshot Prize council, whose members include, William, Queen Rania of Jordan, pop star Shakira, actor Cate Blanchett, Brazilian soccer star Daniel Alves Da Silva, David Attenborough, former NBA player Yao Ming, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
LanzaTech, a company that uses bacteria to recycle carbon pollution into sustainable products, is the only US-based entry represented among the finalists. Originally founded in 2005, the company’s technology is being used in three ethanol plants in China, diverting nearly 200 thousand tons of carbon into products used by brands that include Zara, Coty, and Lululemon. They have been nominated for the “Fix Our Planet” prize.
“While industry is still using fossil fuels, we need solutions that capture emissions at source,” the company’s CEO Jennifer Holmgren said in a statement. “At LanzaTech, we don’t just do that—we also turn those pollutants into products that are useful for society and, in turn, keep fossil resources in the ground. It is an honor to have been recognised by The Earthshot Prize for this work.”
The sustainably-produced ceremony will take place on December 2 in Boston, in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, with a yet-to-be-announced lineup of musical performances, and celebrity presenters. It will also be broadcast internationally by networks including PBS and the BBC.
“I am so excited to celebrate these fifteen Finalists and see the five winners of The Earthshot Prize announced in Boston—the hometown of President John F. Kennedy, who shared the Earthshot Prize’s belief that seemingly impossible goals are within reach if we only harness the limitless power of innovation, human ingenuity, and urgent optimism,” William said.”
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