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Prince William ‘follows in the footsteps’ of ‘pioneers’ Prince Philip and dad Charles

Prince William visits Dockhead Fire Station in London

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The Duke of Cambridge is about to launch his Earthshot Prize, an annual contest that encourages people to find solutions to environmental problems in five specific areas. The so-called Earthshots include: Protect and restore nature; Clean our air, Revive our oceans; Build a waste-free world; and Fix our climate. The winner of each category will be awarded a £1 million prize for their innovations and problem solving skills.

In his introduction to a book about the prize, William paid tribute to both his late grandfather Prince Philip and his dad Prince Charles.

The Prince described them as “pioneers in the environmental movement”, as he urged people to rise to the challenge of saving the planet and not to give in to despair.

He wrote: “It seemed to me, that there was a real risk that people would switch off; that they would feel so despondent, so fearful and so powerless, there was a risk that any real hope of progress would come to a halt.

“This despondency also jars with my own experiences, and those that inspired my grandfather and father to be pioneers in the environmental movement.

“Following in their footsteps, I have seen people all over the world face what seem like insurmountable challenges yet come together with collective ambition, and a can-do-spirit, to find solutions to them.

“I strongly believe that change is possible, when you put your mind to it.”

Prince Philip helped promote many environmental causes throughout his life and was an enthusiastic conservationist.

He helped found the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 1961 and the Australian Conservation Foundation in 1963, becoming president of the former between 1981 and 1996

The Duke of Edinburgh also penned several books about the threats faced by many animal species, notably Wildlife Crisis in 1970.

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David Attenborough said of Prince Philip: “His importance to conservation worldwide has been absolutely huge.”

Likewise, Prince Charles has championed many environmental causes, winning the GCC Global Leader of Change Award for his outstanding contribution to global environmental preservation and protection in 2017.

William described his project as “the most ambitious environmental prize in history” and said it was based on President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot”.

On Friday, the first 15 finalists will be announced, with the five winners being named on October 17.

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