As changes in our climate have impressed upon humanity, the need to collectively develop better processes when interacting with our environment has become a subject of discussion of what or whom should be driving the development.
Climate change is a wicked problem. Smaller projects aiming to create substantive change often lack the resources to implement these projects at scale, which is where climate philanthropy enters the picture.
Philanthropists and organizations of all shapes and sizes have delved into the world of aiding those who propose solutions to our toughest environmental problems. Climate funds, grants and scholarship opportunities have been on the rise recently. It is no surprise, then, that the royal family would take the chance to put forth their own plan centered around dispersing resources to climate problem-solvers.
The Earthshot Prize is the most recent initiative from the royal family designed to bring about a brighter future for the oceans we swim in, the air we breathe
and the land we call home. Set at a significant 1 million euro prize for selected winners, one new project from each Earthshot category will receive the winnings each year until 2030—amounting to a grand total of about 50 million euros dispensed over the 10 years.
Projects hoping to receive the prize money must be nominated, vetted and subsequently selected through a process involving an Earthshot council that will ultimately decide to whom the prize will be given. Designed to mimic President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” initiative of the '60s, only the most effective and novel solutions to our toughest environmental problems will be considered by the council.
The first project winners in the categories of cleaner air, protecting nature, reviving the oceans, reducing our waste and fixing the climate have already been announced for 2021. Some of the winning projects include Coral Vita, a small organization dedicated to regrowing coral reef systems with advanced technology that produces coral 50 times faster than conventional methods and increases resistance to climate change.
Our planet is a wonderful place, but it is time for us to seek the solutions to problems we’ve caused if we want a chance to make it better. Recently, it’s been a subject of debate as to what or whom should be directing the changes we need to make. Critics of organizations who sources of detriment to our ecosystems.
I would agree with that sentiment up to a point. It’s important we understand the damage that can be done to our planet by the massive firms engaged in these processes and spread awareness of the consequences accordingly— sanctions that truly have an impact on outcomes for the environment is critical. However, I believe that just because we cannot stop every bit of the destruction done in our environment does not give us the agency to discount the efforts being done by those that could provide possible solutions.
Focusing our attention on the positive impacts being wrought by small-scale projects is, in my opinion, a much more constructive way of providing long-term solutions. By the promotion and patronization of those who bring a better approach to environmental matters to the table, we can reframe how entire societies function in addressing said issues. That is why, to me, the Earthshot prize is at the very least conceptually representative of a more sustainable future.
With the Earthshot initiative, there exists the potential for encouraging those who are swiftly advancing the science and technology of a brighter future for our planet. It’s important that we rally around the few with the potential to overcome those wicked problems we face today, so we might shift the whole toward the possibility for a much better tomorrow.