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Prince William in UAE: There is still time to repair the planet

British royal was speaking at Earthshot Prize Innovation Showcase that was held at Expo 2020 Dubai.

KT photo
KT photo

Anjana Sankar

Published: Thu 10 Feb 2022, 7:55 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Feb 2022, 8:08 PM

There is still time to repair planet earth and it needs all hands on deck, Britain’s Prince William said on Wednesday during his visit to the Expo 2020 on Wednesday.

Speaking at the first Earthshot Prize Innovation Showcase at the DP World Pavilion, the Duke, who is on his first official visit to the Emirates, said “this is the decisive decade,” as we are still in a race against time to reverse the harms humans have done to the planet.

“Change is not happening fast enough, or at the scale we need,” he said.

“We must make this the decade of the Earthshot. A decade where we all respond with urgency and optimism to change the course of our planet’s future.”

Earthshot is the brainchild of Prince William and The Royal Foundation, that has launched an unprecedented global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.

During the event that saw presentations from Earthshot finalists, DP World pledged $1 million each to two projects, Coral Vita and Living Seawalls.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said they Earthshot is “not a just prize but a call for global action” to save the planet.

Coral Vita grows coral on land to replant in oceans to give new life to dying ecosystems while Seawalls revives marine life by building seawall panels.

The Duke of Cambridge visited Expo early in the afternoon and met with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Dubai’s Crown Prince who gave him a tour of the UAE Pavilion.

Hundreds of UK expats and residents waived the British flag and sang 'Long Live the Queen' while waiting to catch a glimpse of the future king of England outside the UK pavilion.

Speaking at the Earthshot event, Prince William said the global prize that offers $1 million each to innovators who offer cutting edge solutions to save the planet, is a “platform to discover, showcase, accelerate and scale groundbreaking solutions to repair our planet.”

He said he was inspired by the US President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot in 1962, “a bold challenge to land a man on the moon within a decade.”

“In 1969, when Armstrong took those first steps, he proved that the impossible could become possible,” he said.

The Duke listened to five finalists presenting their projects to the audience which included SOLshare, a Bangladeshi company that has introduced power sharing technology that enables solar-powered home owners to sell energy. There was also a presentation by a Kenyan called ‘Sanergy’ that convert waste from homes and businesses to fertilisers for farmers

Prince William said the Earthshot Prize found 15 incredible finalists from around the globe, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a 15-year-old girl-turned-inventor in India.

Weeks ago, the Earthshot Prize has launched the search to find the next round of groundbreaking solutions, he said with a focus on tipping points that can accelerate change in sectors like transportation, fashion, and construction.

“And finally, we are always on the lookout for wild cards, out of the box solutions that have transformative potential. These are my particular favourites,” said The Duke.


The Duke listened to the Earthshot finalists pitch and said, they are “striving to use their knowledge and skills to make a lasting impact on our planet’s greatest challenges.”

“They provide us with a blueprint for game-changing innovation. They give us all inspiration for what the future could look like. They are what makes me an optimist.”

But it is a global effort, and everyone has to support the mission to repair our planet, he added.


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