Former New Zealand Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern has arrived at the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Singapore.
Dazzling in a floor-length olive green gown, she walked the “green” carpet where she spoke to media - including the Associated Press - and praised Earthshot for helping amplify the solutions needed to fight climate change.
“We can also connect these ideas to investors in the real world and those who have the capability to help scale these ideas and solutions,” Ardern told the news outlet.
“We need speed and pace and Earthshot focuses on providing both.”
This is the third time the Earthshot Prize awards has been held with Ardern joining the likes of Prince William, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Australian wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin at the event.
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern at the Earthshot Prize awards in Singapore. Photo / AP
Ardern - who became a trustee of the Earthshot board shortly before leaving office - also spoke to media outlet Bloomberg, discussing the need for quick action in the battle against climate change.
“We see there’s a growing number of individuals, private equity and so on, who are looking to climate investment,” Ardern said. “We need to be making sure we have the solutions now and that we’re investing in those solutions now. We can’t afford to wait.”
The charity was founded in 2020 by the Prince of Wales’ Royal Foundation. It was created to be a 10-year programme aiming to support innovative solutions and technologies in the battle against the planet’s greatest environmental perils.
Each year, the charity holds the Earthshot Prize awards, where five people are presented with awards. Ofhe criteria to win in a category, Ardern said: “There is a number of criteria we are looking at, saleability is one of them. The idea that this isn’t just a notion in a lab or on paper, but this is an idea that can have a tangible affect in the real world.”
Hannah Waddingham (from left), Prince William and Sterling K. Brown pose on the green carpet for the 2023 Earthshot Prize awards in Singapore. Photo / AP
The winners, who were each presented their awards from a series of A-list stars - including Blanchett, Irwin, Lana Condor and Donnie Yen - each won £1 million pounds (NZ$2.1 million) with the intention of giving them the ability to upscale their innovations.
They will also receive a year of technical support and resource assistance.
The five categories were nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change, with the winners decided by a 13-member council made up of many notable names including broadcaster and conservationist, Sir David Attenborough.
AP reported that during the event, Prince William spoke to the crowd, saying: “Our winners and all our finalists remind us that, no matter where you are on our planet, the spirit of ingenuity, and the ability to inspire change, surrounds us all.”
The prince continued, saying people should be the “architect of change” so future generations can enjoy a safer planet.
Prince William chats with Australian actress Cate Blanchett. Photo / AP
Full list of winners
· Acción Andina, for a community-based initiative in South American bringing tens of thousands of local and indigenous people together to restore high forests in the Andes mountain;
· India’s S4S Technologies, for solar-powered dryers and processing equipment that helped millions of farmers to preserve their crops and combat food waste;
· Boomitra, for removing emissions and helping boost farmer profits in Asia, South America and Africa by incentivising land restoration through a verified carbon-credit marketplace;
· Hong Kong company GRST, for developing a way to make batteries for electric vehicles pollute less and easier to recycle;
· Global non-profit organisation WildAid Marine Programme, for working with governments to bolster enforcement to deter illegal fishing and strengthen ocean conservation.
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