Prince William unveils Earthshot Prize panel

Prince William jokes he’s ‘a very boring coach looking for skillful players to help beat climate change’ as he unveils glamorous Earthshot Prize judging panel including popstar Shakira and Queen Rania of Jordan

  • Prince William, 38, unveiled a panel of celebrities as council for Earthshot Prize
  • ‘Green Nobel prize’ sees five £1million prizes awarded each year for next 10 years
  • Duke of Cambridge to be joined by high-flying panel to help him choose winners 
  • Stars who will make up council include actor Cate Blanchett and singer Shakira  

Prince William has unveiled his team of high-profile environmental activists, philanthropic leaders and A-listers who will decide the winners of his prestigious Earthshot Prize. 

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, launched the award, which has been likened to a green Nobel Prize, today, which will see see a total of 50 environmental pioneers each awarded a £1million prize for their work tackling major problems across climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution and fresh water. 

In a clip released today, the Duke spoke with different members of his panel by video chat, including Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and popstar Shakira.

Speaking with athlete Dani Alves, who is also on the panel, the royal joked: ‘I’m a very boring coach on the corner at the moment, looking for some very skillful players to help me beat the opposition and we’ve got a really wonderful team put together on the council.’

Prince William, 38, has unveiled his team of high-profile environmental activists, philanthropic leaders and A-listers who will decide the winners of his prestigious Earthshot Prize

Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan has been unveiled as one of the stars who will award the Earthshot Prize 

Meanwhile Columbian popstar Shakira was also revealed as a member of the prestigious panel today (pictured, performing at the Halftime Show in February) 

The Earthshot Prize Council is a list of influential individuals from a wide range of different sectors, all of whom are committed to championing positive action in the environmental space.

The Duke will be joined on the team by celebrities and royalty including actor Cate Blanchett on the council.

In the video of the council chatting with Prince William, which was released today, Hips Don’t Lie singer Shakira spoke of her own passion for the environment.

She said: ‘I personally feel it is my duty as a citizen, as a human being and as a mother of two young children to bring attention to this issue before it’s too late.’ 

Prince William revealed unveiled the team of A-listers and environmental activists who will sit alongside him on the Earthshot Prize council today (pictured, clockwise from top left, Shakira, Sir David Attenborough,  Indra Nooyi, Dani Alves, Christiana Figueres, Naoko Yamazaki, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Cate Blanchett, Yao Ming, Jack Ma, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Prijnce William)

She added: ‘Your children, my children – they have to find ways to reduce carbon emissions, to repair our oceans, to clean the air. 

‘So we need young minds to be informed and invested, which is why education is so important. But we can’t just stand still. 

‘We have to lead the way and we have to do it now. I know it’s ambitious and I know there will be so many challenges along the way but I also know there will be so many who will rise to the occasion.’

Others on the council include athletes, professional footballer Dani Alves and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and environmentalist Yao Ming, as well as environmental activists including Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim and Christiana Figueres.

In an Instagram post shared on the Kensington Royal page, the royal posted: ‘The @Earthshotprize council is a diverse, broad range of people from all around the world who I’ve been talking to over the last few weeks and months. 

Among the celebrities who form a part of the panel who will decide the winners of the Earthshot Prize is A-list actress Cate Blanchett (pictured with Prince William) 

‘We’ve got a really fantastic council together.’

In the coming months, further members of The Earthshot Prize Council will be announced as the global coalition supporting the Prize expands.

Every year from 2021 until 2030, The Earthshot Prize Council will award The Earthshot Prize to five winners, one per Earthshot.

They will be supported by a distinguished panel of experts will support the judging process, making recommendations to the Prize Council who will select the final winners. 

The Duke spoke with high-profile environmental activists, philanthropic leaders and a-listers as members of The Earthshot Prize Council, including Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah

Speaking after her announcement on the council, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah said: ‘Seen from outer space, our planet is borderless; the same can be said for the greatest challenges we face today.

‘For too long, we have neglected our shared world, and today we are reaping the shared consequences. None of us can opt out of the damaging ramifications of climate change, pollution, or resource depletion. 

‘And while the situation is urgent, it is not hopeless. When our backs are against the wall, humanity has a knack for coming together to find innovative solutions. 

‘We push back and power through. I am hopeful that platforms such as the Earthshot Prize will help us do just that.’ 

Appearing in a film released today, Prince William joked he was a ‘very boring coach in the corner’ and wanted to bring together ‘very skillful players to help me beat the opposition’

The Earthshot Prize, which has been likened to a green Nobel Prize, will drive change and help to repair the planet over the next 10 years.

The ambitious decade-long project will see a total of 50 environmental pioneers each awarded a £1million prize for their work tackling major problems.

The £50million project is funded by a network of philanthropic organisations and private companies and individuals including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Jack Ma Foundation and US billionaire Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne.

Who will join Prince William on the Earthshot Prize Council?  

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Jordan

Queen Rania of Al Abdullah is the queen consort of Jordan and is known for her humanitarian focus and for using her platform to advocate for women’s right and issues of sustainability.

Cate Blanchett – actor, producer and humanitarian, Australia

Cate Blanchett is an Oscar winning actress, with roles in blockbusters including ‘Elizabeth’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, ‘The Aviator’ and as Hela in ‘Thor: Ragnorak’.

She is also an avid environmental campaigner, having been inspired to get involved by Al Gore, and has worked tirelessly for causes both in her native Australia and around the globe.

She is an ambassador for Australian Conservation Foundation and visited politicians and people in Queensland to raise awareness of climate issues. 

Christiana Figueres – Former UN climate chief, responsible for the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Costa Rica) 

Christiana Figueres is a diplomat with experience in high level national and international policy and multilateral negotiations. She was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in July 2010, six months after the COP15 failed in Copenhagen.

During the next six years she worked to rebuild the global climate change negotiating process, leading to the 2015 Paris agreement, widely recognized as a historical achievement.

Dani Alves – professional footballer (Brazil)

Dani Alves is a professional footballer for Brazil. Speaking upon being chosen for the council, he said: ‘It’s the most important power in the world – nature. If you give it good things then nature gives good things back to you.

‘We’re going to make a good team.’ 

Sir David Attenborough – broadcaster and natural historian (UK)

Sir David Frederick Attenborough is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting and is considered a national treasure in the UK.

Sir David has become more vocal in his support of environmental causes over the last two decades, saying: ‘I really do think things are about to start to move, and this sort of idea could be the spark that is really going to give it the lift and the impetus to develop into something huge.

‘It’s a great source of hope, and I hope it spreads around the world.’

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – environmental activist (Chad)

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist and geographer. She is the Coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) and served as the co-director of the pavilion of the World Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative and Pavilion at COP21, COP22 and COP23. 

Indra Nooyi – business executive and former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo (US & India)

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business executive and former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo, who is consistently ranked as amoung the top 100 most powerful women in the world.

In 2017, she was ranked the 2nd most powerful woman once more on the Forbes list of The 19 Most Powerful Women in Business.

She serves on the boards for Amazon and the International Cricket Council. 

Jack Ma – philanthropist, entrepreneur and UNSDG Advocate (China)

Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist, as well as the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. 

Ma is a global ambassador for Chinese business and is often listed as one of the world’s most powerful people, with Forbes ranking him 21st on its ‘World’s Most Powerful People’ list. 

As of 29 July 2020, with a fortune of $48.2 billion, Ma is the second-wealthiest person in China and one of the wealthiest people in the world.    

Naoko Yamazaki – former astronaut onboard the International Space Station (Japan)

Naoko Yamazaki is a former Japanese astronaut and the second Japanese woman to fly in space.

She revealed: ‘It’s been more than half a century since human beings reached space and even the moon. However, the Earth is our only home planet. 

‘When I saw the International Space Station, I saw it as a symbol of international collaboration. If we all put our forces together for a common goal, we can make a great achievement.’ 

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – economist and international development expert (Nigeria)

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian-born economist and international development expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the African Risk Capacity (ARC)  

Shakira – singer and philanthropist (Colombia)

Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress, and philanthropist. She is one of 17 advocates for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Yao Ming – Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and environmentalist (China)

Yao Ming is a Chinese basketball executive and former professional player. He was also named the UN Environment Programme’s first-ever Environmental Champion. 

He pledged to give up eating shark’s fin soup, a Chinese delicacy, in association with a WildAid campaign to promote wildlife protection. 

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