Prince of Wales Announces Earthshot Finalists

But is anyone paying attention? I'm genuinely curious.

Prince of Wales Announces Earthshot Finalists
Photo by NASA / Unsplash

William, Prince of Wales announced the 15 finalists for his environmental pet project, the Earthshot Awards earlier this week. Winners will be chosen in five categories: “Protect and Restore Nature,” “Clean Our Air,” “Revive Our Oceans,” “Build a Waste Free World,” and “Fix Our Climate” and will each receive a £1 million prize to help them scale up their operations and increase their positive impact on the planet.

I have to admit that the heir to the British throne throwing £5 million a year at climate change initiatives makes me roll my eyes a wee bit. Most of the media coverage I see online about William's Earthshot Awards center primarily on the Prince himself (and his ongoing beef with his younger brother) and seldom says very much about the actual finalists and winners of the award. Which... kind of defeats the purpose, seems like?

Also: we're talking about the freaking PRINCE OF WALES here. The Duke of Cornwall, heir to a vast fortune and next in line to the British throne. £5 million a year is probably chump change to someone like him. If he *really* wanted to help accelerate the transition to a green-energy sustainable planet, you think he'd throw a lot more money at the problem and convince more of his rich friends to do the same.

(Not to say that philanthropy is an effective tool for change – because it really seems like it isn't.)

But! That said! I am still grateful to the Prince for spearheading what might just be an insecure royal's vanity project. That's because I very much enjoy reading about the finalists and winners and the work they're doing in the world – even if I do have to wade through a bunch of eye-rolly "Prince puffery" to get there.  

For example, it's interesting to see that a company making more sustainable car tires for EVs and another that recycles lithium-ion batteries made this year's list of finalists. Companies working on solutions like this that could have a huge positive impact on the world deserve our interest and attention even if out-of-touch royals do not.  

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