The five inaugural winners of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, including Costa Rica and the Italian city of Milan, were announced at a ceremony in London’s Alexandra Palace on Oct. 17.
Each of the winners received a £1 million ($1.37 million) prize money and “a global network of professional and technical support” to help scale up their environmental innovations.
Costa Rica won for its program to pay its citizens to protect and restore forests and local ecosystems, which led to its forests doubling in size and a boom in its ecotourism.
Indian organization Takachar won for developing a technology that attaches to tractors to convert crop residues into fuel and fertilizer, resulting in the reduction of smoke emissions by up to 98%.
Coral Vita in the Bahamas, a project run by Sam Teicher and and Gator Halpern, won for its methods of accelerating coral regrowth to restore dying ecosystems.
Milan won for its “Food Waste Hubs” that recovers about 350 kilograms of food per day from supermarkets and canteens and donates them to nongovernmental organizations to distribute to citizens in need.
Lastly, a Thai, German, and Italian group won for its AEM Electrolyzer technology that converts renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas to fuel cars and planes.
In a recorded message, William said that the next 10 years was a “decisive decade” for the planet.
“A decade doesn’t seem long enough, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable,” William said.
“The future is ours to determine. And if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible,” William added.
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