The Prince of Wales has told environmentalists that their cause was close to his grandmother’s heart – and that their support for it brought him “great comfort”.
In a personal message recorded a day after the Queen’s funeral and aired Wednesday, William told those in attendance in New York for the Earthshot Prize innovation summit that it was “the saddest circumstances” that had prevented him from joining. to connect them.
But he told them: “Protecting the environment was a matter close to my grandmother’s heart, and I know she would have been thrilled to hear about this event and the support you all give to our Earthshot finalists.” – the next generation of environmental pioneers.
“During this time of sorrow, I take great comfort in your continued enthusiasm, optimism and dedication to the Earthshot Prize and what we are trying to achieve.”
The Prince of Wales has often spoken about his relationship with the Queen.
In a touching tribute after her death, he said she… had always been by his side “during the saddest days of my life” and that the reality of “life without grandma” would take some time to sink in.
Reason for optimism
In 2018, he first came up with the idea of the Earthshot Prize.
He said there was too much pessimism in the climate debate at the time and that he wanted to instill some optimism.
The competition is inspired by JFK’s Moonshot Project and hopes to inspire environmentally conscious innovators of the future.
Over the next ten years, £5 million in prizes will be awarded each year to the best ideas.
He told this year’s “summit” meeting via video message that he knew the world is currently “in an uncertain place” and that many families and communities face “unimaginable challenges – from conflict to energy crises and food shortages.” “.
But he added: “As we tackle these in the short term, we must also remain resolutely focused on tackling the biggest challenges that threaten our future.
“If we don’t, the changing climate will only serve to embed these immediate challenges into fundamental global problems, with dire consequences for the lives of each of us.”
The finalists for the 2022 prize will be announced in the coming weeks and their ideas, the prince said, gave him cause for great optimism.
“These pioneers exemplify the leadership needed in this decade of change.”
But he warned it should be a concerted, global effort.
“We need to get behind their innovative solutions together to ensure they reach their full potential with speed and scale,” he said.
“We have to work together in new ways and we have to be courageous.
“And as the Moonshot inspired an amazing decade of technological transformation, our earth shot decade should inspire action, creativity and collaboration around the world.
“Together, we must ensure that the transition to sustainable solutions is the fastest and most endemic change the world has ever known.”