The 5 Winners of The Earthshot Prize ’21

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The Earthshot Prize is a prestigious global environment prize established by the Royal Foundation. The prize is awarded to innovators whose contributions can be scalable and could instigate change over the next ten years.

Earthshot

“The Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by highlighting the ability of human ingenuity to bring about change, and inspiring collective action.”

The Earthshot Prize is centered around five different ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals that if achieved by 2030 will enable us to live more in harmony with nature. Each Earthshot is awarded to five inspiring solutions that undergo scrupulous consideration from a Global Expert Advisory Panel.

*The word Earthshot was inspired by JFK’s Moonshots that instigated technological innovation during the 60s.

What winners receive:

  • £1million prize money
  • A one-of-a-kind Earthshot Prize medal
  • A global network of professional and technical support to scale these cutting-edge solutions.

This year’s winners include an entire country, a forward-thinking city, brilliant innovators and inspiring entrepreneurs from around the world.

Earthshot
  1. Protect & Restore Nature Prize: The Republic of Costa Rica

    1. The problem: in 2020 more trees were felled than ever before, causing 10% of global warming.
    2. The solution: Policy. Between 1950-1985 half of CR’s rainforests had been cleared to make way for cattle ranching and plantations. In the 90s the government made it illegal to chop down trees without governmental approval, then it implemented programs that paid farmers to reforest their land. Meanwhile they refocused the economy from from agriculture and to eco-tourism.
      By 2020 Costa Rica brought back 90% of the lost forests.
    3. Why it won the Earthshot prize: the CR government believes that 30% of the world’s land and oceans could be protected this way too. Winning would help it share knowledge and practices globally.
  2. Build a Waste-free world Prize: The City of Milan

    1. The problem: over 1/3 of food produced is wasted. The global food system generates 30% of global GHG emissions.
    2. The solution: The City of Milan’s Food Waste Hubs tackle two problems in one. Launched in 2019 with the aim of halving waste by 2030, each hub recovers food mainly from supermarkets and companies’ canteens and gives it to NGOs who distribute it to the neediest citizens.
    3. Why it won the Earthshot prize: Milan is the first major city to enforce a city-wide food waste policy. And it is working. Today the city has three Food Waste Hubs, each recovering about 130 tonnes of food per year (260,000 meals equivalent). Milan has created a blueprint that can be scaled throughout the world
  3. Revive our Oceans Prize: Coral Vita

    1. The problem: coral bleaching due to warming oceans and ocean acidification
    2. The solution: Coral Vita protects threatened ecosystems by growing diverse and resilient corals and outplanting them into degraded reefs. Its methods grow coral up to 50 times faster and improves resilience to the impact of climate change.
    3. Why it won the Earthshot prize: With Coral Vita’s methods, a single farm could potentially supply coral for an entire nation, and they ultimately envision a network of such farms in every nation with reefs, kickstarting a restoration economy to preserve the ecosystems that sustain us all.
  4. Clean our Air Prize: Takachar

    1. The problem: Worldwide, $120 billion worth of crop and forest residues are burned in the open each year, creating massive air pollution.
    2. The solution: Using a novel concept called oxygen-lean torrefaction, Takachar has developed and patented the design of small-scale, low-cost, portable equipment to convert agricultural waste into solid fuel, fertilizer, and other specialty chemicals. The technology can be easily attached to tractors in remote farms.
    3. Why it won the Earthshot prize: If scaled, it could cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
  5. Fix our Climate Prize: AEM Electrolyser

    1. The problem: Burning fossil fuels for energy produces GHG that are causing climate change
    2. The solution: green hydrogen with the AEM electrolyses. AEM turns water electrolysis into a universal and affordable product who’s ony emission is water vapor.
    3. Why it won the Earthshot prize: Funding will help scale mass production, which is planned to begin in 2022, while growing the team faster and funding further research and development. By 2050, Enapter’s vision is to account for 10% of the world’s hydrogen generation.
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