Prince William announces Earthshot funding Launchpad

The latest development is part of his mission to tackle climate change

Following the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, The Prince of Wales attended an event to mark ‘The Earthshot Prize Launchpad’ yesterday.

The Launchpad platform has been designed to connect Earthshot innovators with investors and philanthropists to scale up on environmental solutions, pushing the project’s support for climate solutions to a global scale.

It is currently highlighting 25 schemes from six continents, with a funding need exceeding £400 million; the prize is seeking to showcase what the platform is capable of, with more projects expected to be showcased by the end of the year.

The Prince speaking about ‘The Earthshot Prize Launchpad’. (Kensington Palace)

Earthshot was launched in 2019 and is ‘an ambitious set of challenges to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet’ and named following the moon landings, which was a decade-long plan called Moonshot. The five ‘Earthshots’ are based around five goals to repair our planet: Protect and Restore NatureClean our AirRevive our OceansBuild a Waste-free World and Fix our Climate.

At the event, Prince William met investors who are already members of Launchpad and potential new partners for the platform, as well as Earthshot Prize Finalists including Enapter, Low Carbon Materials, LanzaTech, Colorifix and ENSO.

Some of the ideas nominated for the prize the last few years have included coral farming to restore ocean reefs, processing equipment to combat food waste, all-electric battery energy storage system for construction sites, and a soil carbon marketplace that rewards farmers for sustainable land management practices.

Prince William met with investors and innovators. (The Earthshot Prize)

Speaking last night, Prince William noted we’re in a ‘critical decade’ and that the need for ‘the collective global effort to protect our planet’ is ‘urgent’.

He added that it is why we need to ‘have real impact’ by focusing ‘on supporting and developing as many solutions as possible and scale them at speed’.

Highlighting the success of the Earthshot Prize, the Prince noted that the environmental prize has ‘awarded £15 million of prize money and sourced £50 million of further support for our 45 winners and finalists’ and cohorts ‘have directly improved the lives of almost 4.4 million people and protected or restored almost 22,000 square kilometres of land and ocean’.

However, William states he and The Earthshot Prize ‘want to do more’.

That’s where Launchpad comes in, to ‘catalyse funding on an even greater scale’ and that it will ‘be able to connect our innovators right across the world with a huge network of investors and philanthropists’.


The Prince stated that the platform has ‘already gained significant traction’, with ’25 innovative solutions with funding needs exceeding $500 million are currently spotlighted by Launchpad and 135 institutional investors are already signed up as members’.

Prince William concluded his speech by stating that ‘it is only through collective action that we will reach the ambitious 2030 targets we have set to save our planet. It is only through action that we will create a sustainable future for generations to come’.

Embed from Getty Images

Hannah Jones, chief executive of The Earthshot Prize, said: ‘Launchpad marks a significant step forward for The Earthshot Prize on its journey to scaling innovative solutions from around the globe and becoming a global platform for impact. Over the last four years, the prize has scoured the planet for the best environmental innovations.’

‘Now, with the knowledge we’ve gained from our annual nomination process, we are empowering investors and philanthropists to discover the incredible solutions in our network, while opening doors for promising innovations to further scale.’

The fourth annual awards will be taken to South Africa this year. For 2024, Cape Town will host the awards in November. Nominations for this year’s ceremony has seen nearly 400 African-based projects enter the competition, which demonstrates the creativity and innovation across the continent who are aiming to inspire optimism and provide pathways for transformative change around the world.

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