The Duke of Cambridge has issued a rallying cry to the next generation to keep on “demanding change” as innovative green projects from across the globe were awarded £1 million by his Earthshot Prize.
William called on the younger members of society not to “give up hope” during the event and he announced the US would be the host nation for the next awards ceremony.
The move for the Earthshot Prize next year means William and Kate could travel to US to host the event, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made their home.
At the end of the event, televised by the BBC, William, who was joined by Kate, took to the stage to tell the audience:
The younger generation has been inspired by the actions of climate change activist of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who first started her Friday protests outside her country’s parliament in August 2018, inspiring children across the world to stage school strikes.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson, wearing a wedding dress made of 10 dresses from Oxfam, and Dame Emma Thompson were among those who trod the ceremony’s green carpet.
Kate arrived wearing an Alexander McQueen dress made for her in 2011, while her husband wore a dark green velvet blazer and a polo neck which co-host Dermot O’Leary later jokingly described as “looking very Bond”.
No stars flew to London for the event and guests were asked by organisers to “consider the environment when choosing their outfit” for the awards inspired by the Apollo moon landings, nicknamed Moonshot, which helped advance mankind’s technological achievements.
Among the winners were projects restoring coral reefs, redistributing unwanted food to the disadvantage and a project battling the issues contributing to air pollution in India.
Kate presented the winning award in the protect and restore nature category to the government of Costa Rica, which has pioneered a project paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems.
Liverpool FC’s star striker Mo Salah presented the first Earthshot Prize in the Revive our oceans category, to the Coral Vita project which grows coral on land to replant in oceans, giving new life to dying ecosystems.
Watson awarded the Fix our climate prize to AEM Electrolyser technology which turns renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas.
The Harry Potter star said:
The winners all appeared via video link to give their reaction to receiving £1 million to develop their initiatives by the decade-long award scheme.
In a lighter moment Dame Emma Thompson had trouble with her microphone when she came to the stage to present the award for Build a waste-free world to the city of Milan for its food waste project.
She joked: “I broke my mike by dropping it down the lav”.
The event was launched by Coldplay who pre-recorded their performance, which was powered by 60 people pedalling bicycles, and Ed Sheeran later took to the stage to entertain the audience.
Later William spoke to the winners via a video call and flanked by Kate he said: