BOSTON, MA; December 2, 2022 – Tonight, Prince William and The Earthshot Prize revealed the 2022 Earthshot Prize winners – an accomplished group of entrepreneurs and innovators spearheading groundbreaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. Each winner was awarded a £1 million prize at the second-annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, which will be broadcast Sunday, December 4 at 17:30pm GMT on BBC and will begin streaming on Monday, December 5 at 2:00pm EST on PBS.org and the PBS app.
Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot challenge in the 1960s, which united millions of people around the goal of putting a person on the moon within a decade, The Earthshot Prize aims to discover and help scale innovative solutions that put the world firmly on a trajectory toward a stable climate by 2030 – a world in which communities, oceans and biodiversity can thrive in harmony.
Each year over the course of this critical decade for the planet, five winners will be chosen for their ground-breaking solutions to five of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet. These five Earthshots are: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate.
Following a rigorous selection process focused on identifying the most inspirational, impactful, and inclusive solutions, the five 2022 winners are:
Clean our Air: Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya – A start-up providing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.
- Across Africa, 700 million people use solid fuel to cook on open fires and cookstoves that emit toxic chemicals and lack safeguards. As a result, accidents and air pollution kill four million people each year. Mukuru Clean Stoves offer an alternative by using processed biomass made from charcoal, wood, and sugarcane, rather than dangerous solid fuels. This burns cleaner, creating 90% less pollution than an open fire and 70% less than a traditional cookstove. They are cheaper too, costing just USD10 and halving ongoing fuel costs.
- A female-founded business with mostly female staff and distribution agents, Mukuru is not only working to Clean our Air, but also empowering women to make a living by making a difference.
Protect and Restore Nature: Kheyti, India – A pioneering solution for local smallholder farmers to reduce costs, increase yields, and protect livelihoods in a country on the frontlines of climate change.
- India is home to 100 million small-hold farmers, many of whom are impacted by severe impacts of climate change, including heatwaves and pests. Start-up Kheyti has developed a simple solution that is already having a considerable impact. Its Greenhouse-in-a-Box is designed for small-hold farmers and the crops they grow, offering shelter from unpredictable elements and destructive pests. Kheyti also trains and supports farmers to ensure their greenhouse is as effective as possible.
- The results are dramatic. Plants in the greenhouses require 98% less water than those outdoors and yields are seven-times higher. 90% cheaper than standard greenhouses, Kheyti’s solution is more than doubling farmers’ incomes, helping them invest more in their farms and their families. Using less water and fewer pesticides, they are protecting the planet too. Today, 1,000 farms have a Kheyti greenhouse, and by 2027, Kheyti hopes they can reach 50,000 farmers with Greenhouse- in-a-Box.
Revive our Oceans: Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia – An inspiring women- led program that combines 60,000 years of indigenous knowledge with digital technologies to protect land and sea.
- The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network hold a huge amount of the indigenous wisdom, and over the past four years, have helped build the next generation of women rangers. The programme has trained over 60 women, encouraging new conservation approaches by sharing knowledge and telling stories. Members of the network have gone on to find work as rangers in Queensland or in conservation elsewhere.
- The data they have collected has given us critical insight into one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. As custodians of the land, the rangers have also protected sites of great cultural and spiritual significance.
Build a Waste-free World: Notpla, United Kingdom – A circular solution creating an alternative to plastic packaging from seaweed.
- London-based startup Notpla, founded by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, believes that the future of packaging is not plastic, but seaweed. Notpla is a natural and bio-degradable plastic alternative made from seaweed and plants and can be used to create a range of packaging products, such as a bubble to hold liquids, a coating for food containers, and a paper for the cosmetic and fashion industry.
- This year, Notpla has made over 1 million takeaway food boxes for JustEatTakeaway.com, and the company has the potential to replace over 100 million plastic coated containers in Europe in the future. The company is continuing to research and develop new formats and solutions, with flexible films and rigid materials in the pipeline.
Fix our Climate: 44.01, Oman – Created by childhood friends who have developed an innovative technique to turn CO2 into rock, and permanently store it underground.
- Oman-based 44.01, named after the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, eliminates CO2 by turning it into rock, removing it from the atmosphere safely, efficiently, and permanently by mineralizing it in peridotite, a rock found in abundance in Oman, United States, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. Peridotite mineralization is a natural process, but in nature it can take many years to mineralize even a small amount of CO2. 44.01 accelerates the process by pumping carbonated water into seams of peridotite deep underground.
- Unlike carbon ‘storage’, which involves burying CO2 underground in disused oilwells or aquifers, mineralization does not require long-term monitoring or insurance, and ultimately makes the process more cost-effective, scalable, and safer.
- 44.01’s first project will mineralize 1,000 tonnes of locally captured CO2 every year until 2024. The company aims soon to expand its operations internationally, enabling local mineralization without requiring costly CO2 transportation. 44.01’s goal is to have mineralized 1bn tonnes of CO2 by 2040.
Each of the winners’ solutions excelled in the rigorous screening process following an assessment on their potential to create game-changing impact around the world, and their ability to help us reach our Earthshot goals while also positively impacting people, communities, and the natural world.
The final five winners were selected by The Earthshot Prize Council, a diverse team of influential individuals which include: HRH Prince William, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Sir David Attenborough, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Indra Nooyi, Shakira Mebarak, Christiana Figueres, Luisa Neubauer, Cate Blanchett, Yao Ming, Daniel Alves Da Silva, Ernest Gibson, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Jack Ma, and Naoko Yamazaki.
In its second year, The Earthshot Prize embarked upon an ambitious global nine-month search process, seeking out the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet. Over 1000 applications from around the world were considered, with 15 finalists from 10 countries chosen through a selection process supported by an expert advisory panel.
All 15 Finalists featured in the ceremony will receive tailored support from The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance, an unrivalled network of world-leading philanthropies, NGOs, and private sector businesses around the world who will help scale their solutions. Support could include access to resources across numerous professions including manufacturing, retail, supply chains, legal advice, digital technology, business strategy and government relations. The Earthshot Prize team is in discussions with all finalists about the support they need, which could include business strategy, further investment or advice on growing their leadership platforms.
The winners were connected to the incredible ceremony by a global broadcast, celebrating all 15 Earthshot Prize Finalists – each representing a ground-breaking solution to repair our planet. The Prince and Princess of Wales were joined by Earthshot Prize Council Members Christiana Figueres, Indra Nooyi, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, and Naoko Yamazaki, and a host of artists and advocates including Annie Lennox, Billie Eilish, Catherine O’Hara, Chloe x Halle, Clara Amfo, Daniel Dae Kim, David Beckham, Ellie Goulding, Rami Malek and Shailene Woodley.
The ceremony will air on Sunday, December 4 at 5:30pm GMT on BBC and will begin streaming from The Earthshot Prize YouTube channel later that evening. In the U.S., it will begin streaming at 2:00pm EST on Monday, December 5 on PBS.org and the PBS App and at 8:00pm EST on the PBS YouTube channel. Across Africa, the ceremony will premiere on Multichoice channels on Monday, December 5 at 17:00 WAT. PBS will also broadcast the event on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00pm EST (check local listings). (All times subject to change).