The Earthshot Prize, launched last year by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, published an open letter, signed by members of the Earthshot Prize Council, including former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi to mark Earth Day.
The open letter, titled ‘Give the Earth a shot’ called on people across the world to unite in tackling the climate crisis before it is too late. The letter states that “if we do not act in this decade, the damage to our planet will be irreversible, impacting not only those of us alive today but threatening the future of generations to come.”
“This is a critical year for environmental issues and moving the agenda forward. We are at an extraordinary point and we urgently need to galvanize action in both the private sector and wider society to achieve the progress so desperately needed. No one sector can do this by themselves. But the good news is the tools, technologies and ideas are already out there – we just need to identify and scale them,” said Nooyi.
The Prize Council supports the Earthshot Prize, a global environmental award announced last year and inspired by President Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’, which aims to discover and scale solutions in five key areas of waste, oceans, air pollution, nature and climate.
Every year, from 2021 until 2030, members of the Earthshot Prize Council will choose five winners to award the Earthshot Prize for the most viable solutions to the biggest environmental challenges facing planet Earth. Winners will receive tailored support to develop their solution along with a £1 million prize fund to scale the project and achieve their ambition to change the world.
“Through projects like the Earthshot Prize and by using moments like Earth Day to remind everyone of what is possible when we all come together, stopping the climate emergency should be a constant focus,” Nooyi further said.
A global team of influential individuals from a wide range of sectors, all of whom are committed to championing action to repair the planet, form the Prize Council. Apart from Prince William and Indra Nooyi, other signatories in the letter include Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah; actor Cate Blanchett; former UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres; professional footballer Dani Alves, broadcaster and natural historian, David Attenborough; environmental activist, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim; former astronaut onboard the International Space Station, Naoko Yamazaki; Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; singer and philanthropist, Shakira Mebarak; and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and environmentalist, Yao Ming.
In the letter, the group refers to the threat facing the Earth as “the most pressing challenge in human history” and warns of the broad consensus among experts that action on climate change must happen within the next decade before the damage becomes irreversible. It also cites the global efforts to fight COVID-19 as evidence of what is possible when the world pulls together in the face of a common threat. Referencing the unprecedented global efforts to develop vaccines as well as individual actions by people around the world in support of the greater good, the letter calls for the same spirit of innovation and determination to be applied to the climate emergency.
Commenting on the urgency of the matter, environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, said, “One year since the COVID global crisis began, it is now clear that the health of our societies relies on the health of our planet. Yet, we still lack sufficient ambition to end the climate crisis and stop biodiversity loss. For centuries, Indigenous peoples have been living in harmony with nature and protecting the ecosystems that sustain them. They know that cooperating with Mother Earth is the only way toward inclusive and fair societies. This Earth Day, I am proud to work with the Earthshot Prize to identify innovative solutions that can help us build a green recovery that does not leave anyone behind.”