• Winners of the Earthshot prize were presented with £1 million, to support their efforts to improve the sustainability of their nation/ city.
  • Winners included Milan for its work with developing food waste hubs and Costa Rica for promoting sustainable practices within its population.
  • British royals have recently made a series of comments on environmental issues, questioning the importance of the space race and speculation around upcoming COP26.

Milan and Costa Rica were among the winners of the Earthshot Prize, an environmental award created by Britain's Prince William, who has criticized world leaders for an uninspiring response to the climate change crisis.

The honours were established to find solutions through new technologies or policies to the planet’s biggest environmental problems, with a winner in each of the five categories receiving 1 million pounds ($1.37 million).

Milan won the "Build a Waste-Free World" award for its food waste hubs, which recover food to give to those most in need, while Costa Rica received the "Protect and Restore Nature" prize for programmes paying citizens to plant trees and restore ecosystems.

"We are alive in the most consequential time in human history," William, second in line to the British throne, said in a video message to the ceremony held in London.

Britain's Prince William speaks on stage, during the first Earthshot awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, Britain October 17, 2021. Picture taken October 17, 2021.
Milan won the Build a Waste Free World award.
Image: Reuters/Yui Mok

"The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand."

British royals have recently made a series of comments on environmental issues.

William took a thinly veiled swipe on Thursday at billionaires embroiled in a space tourism race, saying the world's greatest brains should instead be focused on solving the environmental problems facing Earth.

Queen Elizabeth has said she was irritated by world leaders who talk about climate change but do nothing to address global warming, and added it was still unclear who would turn up at the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Emma Thompson announces the City of Milan, Italy, as the winner of the Build a Waste Free World award on stage, during the first Earthshot awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London, Britain October 17, 2021.
Emma Thompson announces the City of Milan, Italy, as the winner of the Build a Waste Free World award.
Image: Reuters/Yui Mok

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.