Prince William says climate change 'positivity' has been 'missing'
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During an interview with BBC Newscast, Prince William explained his desire to “create actions” and “positivity” around the climate change debate through his Earthshot Prize. He explained that in recent years, the discussions around the climate crisis had been “very negative”, which led to his decision to launch the awards, which seeks out environmental innovations from across the globe. Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, has been an environmental campaigner for several decades, and has led numerous debates and panels on the “catastrophic” effects of climate inaction.
Speaking to BBC Newscast host Adam Fleming, Prince William said: “It’s been in the back of my mind for quite a while, the whole climate change debate, environmental issues growing, pollution – so I’ve always felt very strongly about it and I’ve been watching very carefully what others have been doing, trying to see what’s been missing.
“For me, over the last few years, the urgency and particularly the positivity around the debate has been missing.
“It’s been very negative.
“Understandably, it’s such a large issue that everyone feels completely overwhelmed by the facts, of the scales of the problems and things like that.
“So we wanted to break it down and try and work out how could we add something that was going to create action, create positivity, create energy towards actually solving some of these problems.”
The Earthshot Prize was announced by Prince William and Sir David Attenborough in October 2020 and will award its first winners on Sunday, October 17.
It will grant five organisations £1million each to advance their innovative solutions to tackle the climate change crisis.
Prince William announced the 15 finalists in September, which includes a coral farming project from the Bahamas, food waste hubs from Milan, and solar-powered energy capsules from Nigeria.
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The five winners will be chosen by The Earthshot Prize Council, which comprises global ambassadors from a wide range of varying sectors that encourage positive action through environmental change. Members include the Queen of Jordan, Shakira, and Cate Blanchett.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will appear at Alexandra Palace on Sunday evening to award the five winners.
They will be joined by a number of celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, Emma Watson, and Coldplay, whose performance will be powered by 60 cyclists.
During the interview with the BBC, Prince William spoke of the rising “climate anxiety” and said it would be “an absolute disaster” if his eldest son, Prince George, was talking about the same issue in 30 years to come.
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The Duke of Cambridge will accompany Prince Charles and the Queen to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.
He warned world leaders, who will gather at the crucial summit, against “clever speak, clever words but not enough action”.
This sentiment echoes one made by Prince Charles earlier this week, who also told the BBC that he hoped world leaders would take decisive action rather than “just talk”.
The Prince of Wales is a renowned environmental campaigner, who has spoken about the urgency of climate change for several decades. The 72-year-old Prince has authored and co-authored several books on the topic and has launched a number of initiatives to encourage a sustainable future.
This includes his Terra Carta project, which is aimed at influencing business leaders to embrace sustainability.
During his discussion with the BBC on Monday, he also spoke of his attempts to reduce his own carbon footprint, which includes replacing fuel in his Aston Martin with fermented wine and cheese.
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