Prince William and Kate Middleton will soon travel to the US for the first time in eight years to host his Earthshot Awards in Boston. And today the 15 finalists for the prestigious environmental award can be revealed, including a sustainable leather alternative and an organization that produces seaweed packaging.
There are three finalists in each of the award’s five categories, and one winner from each category will be announced at an event on December 2 at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Chosen by the Earthshot Prize Board which includes Prince William, Queen Rania of Jordan, Sir David Attenborough and Shakira, the five winners will each receive £1 million to develop and expand their environmental solution.
“The innovators, leaders and visionaries who make up our Earthshot 2022 finalists demonstrate that there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet,” Prince William said in a statement today. “I’m so excited to celebrate these fifteen finalists See the five Earthshot Award winners announced in Boston – the hometown of President John F. Kennedy, who shared the Earthshot Award’s belief that seemingly impossible goals are within reach if we only harness the power The limitlessness of innovation, human ingenuity and urgent optimism.”
William and Kate will be joined by climate experts and activists, government leaders, business executives, celebrities and influencers from around the world at the sustainably produced ceremony in Boston. This is the second Earthshot Award after the inaugural event in London last year, and the award will be held annually for a decade with the aim of promoting 50 innovative solutions to the climate crisis.
The finalists for 2022 are:
Protect nature and restore it
1. Agricultural transformation in the desert
China and Hong Kong
Professor Yi Jijian and his team have developed a technique to transform a barren desert into fertile, agricultural land by applying a water-based paste mixed with desert sand to give it the same properties as crop-growing soil. “Our solution transforms dry plains into productive pastures. We think we have found a solution to rising food insecurity, and we are proud of this recognition from the Earthshot Award,” says Professor Yee.
2. Kheyti greenhouse in a box
The Indian startup Kheyti produces a greenhouse-in-a-box, which is designed for small farmers and the crops they grow, and offers shelter from the elements and pests. Ninety percent cheaper than a regular greenhouse, they can double farmers’ income. “Our greenhouse-in-a-box is empowering farmers in India today. The steps we’ve already taken at Kheyti are now being built to change farmers’ lives on a large scale,” says Kaushik Kapgantulu of Kheyti.
Khotan has been working to develop solutions for a more harmonious coexistence between wildlife and people for the past 25 years. Their findings allow them to create strategic wildlife corridors and reforest degraded areas with native trees, ensuring safe passage, food and shelter for orangutans and other species. “Through our research and conservation programs in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, we are creating strong partnerships and developing innovative solutions for a more harmonious coexistence between wildlife and people,” says Isabel Lakman Mahoutan.
Clean our air
- MukuruClean ovens
Charlot Magayi founded Mukuru Clean Stoves after growing up in Mukuru, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, where she once sold charcoal for fuel. Instead of burning solid fuels, its stove uses processed biomass made from coal, wood and sugarcane that creates 90 percent less pollution than an open fire and 70 percent less than a traditional cooking stove. “Mukuru Clean Stoves started as a solution to a problem I felt personally in my life. Today we have the opportunity to change the lives of millions, with cheaper, safer and more sustainable cooking stoves and fuels,” says Charlotte.
2. Ampd Entertainer
Hong Kong entrepreneur Brandon Ng and his team at Ampd Energy have developed the Enertainer, a battery electric energy storage system designed to power construction sites without the direct use of fossil fuels. The system can power any type of electrical equipment—cranes, cranes, welders, barbers, and more—using its lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used in electric cars. “Construction is responsible for 11 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions in the world, partly because of its reliance on burning fossil fuels, which emit CO2, nitrogen oxides, particles and other harmful fumes. The Enertainer eliminates the need for direct use of fossil fuels on construction sites,” says Brandon Ng.
3. To wander
Sweden and Kenya
Roam, which started as a research project at a Swedish university, brings affordable electric motorcycles and buses to Kenya. The company plans to produce 150,000 motorcycles and 800 buses per year by 2026 to make electric transportation accessible to a wider market. “We want to help the environment and the drivers’ pockets,” says Philip Lobstrom.
Revive our oceans
Portugal and Norway
Pål Bakken and the SeaForester team are helping to return algae to the ocean, which helps sequester carbon and restore ecosystems. They created “green gravel” which is algae spores that are seeded on small stones and scattered into the ocean to stick to the reef so that seaweed grows. “Our solution is to restore what has been destroyed. Reforesting our seas will help reverse ocean acidification, build fish stocks and reduce climate change,” says Ell Bakken.
2. The Great Bubble Barrier
The Great Bubble Barrier is designed to intercept plastic waste before it reaches the sea by creating a curtain of bubbles on rivers that diverts plastic to a waste collection system. It has been shown to capture around 86 percent of plastic waste and there are plans to apply it to polluted rivers around the world. “Rivers are the highway to our oceans, and carry pollution all the way there. The great bubble barrier stops plastic from reaching the sea by intercepting it from inland waterways,” says one of the creators, Francis Zoet.
3. Native women of the Great Barrier Reef
The Queensland Indigenous Rangers Network is building the next generation of female rangers to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. The program has trained over 60 women, encouraging new conservation approaches by sharing knowledge, stories and data collection. “This place has always been our home, but today we risk losing it and the unique culture that has existed here for thousands of years. Our Women Rangers network exists to protect our home and continue our traditions,” says the network’s Larissa Hale.
Build a world without waste
1. Hard material Notpla
The London start-up Notafala produces a plastic alternative made from algae and plants. This year they will produce over a million takeaway boxes with the potential to replace over 100 million plastic coated containers in Europe in the future. “We are already replacing plastic that is infesting our seas, and building algae farms that give back to the environment and the local economy,” says co-founder Pierre Faslier.
2. City of Amsterdam circular economy
In 2020, Amsterdam became the first city to commit to building a circular economy, where products are reused and recycled so that waste is eliminated, by 2050. The city built a circular monitor that tracks all material flows into it and reuse of building materials became standard.
Floral waste collected from India’s holy river, the Ganges, is being used by entrepreneurs to produce a sustainable version of leather. Business Pool has so far taken 13,000 tonnes of floral waste from the river, much of it dumped by temples discarding their used flowers, and aims to supply fashion giants. “We started life with a simple idea: to clean the most sacred river in India. In the process, we discovered a material grown on our factory floor that could one day replace Animal skin for good,” says founder Ankit Agarwal.
Fix our climate
1. Low Carbon Materials (LCM)
Three PhD students in chemistry founded LCM, which produces a carbon-negative alternative to one of the main components of concrete with the potential to transform the building industry. “Until now, construction has been one of the hardest industries to decarbonize. With LCM, all that can change. We’ve made concrete zero and now we need the world to start using it,” says LCM’s Dr Natasha Bewelding.
USA and New Zealand
LanzaTech, led by Columbia-born chemist Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, uses bacteria to recycle carbon pollution. Its gas fermentation technology captures pollution and turns it into materials such as sustainable fuels, packaging, cosmetics, cleaning products and textiles already in use by businesses including Zara, Coty and Lululemon. “While industry still uses fossil fuels, we need solutions that capture emissions at source. At LanzaTech, we don’t just do that – we also turn these pollutants into products that benefit society and, in turn, keep fossil resources in the ground,” says Dr. Hommengren.
Oman-based 44.01 removes CO2 by turning it into rock, removing it from the atmosphere safely, efficiently and permanently. The CO2 is mineralized in peridotite – a rock found abundantly in Oman as well as the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia – by pumping carbonated water into seams of peridotite deep underground. “The answers to the problems facing our planet can often be found in the natural world. In 44.01, we found a natural process that removes carbon and accelerated it,” says founder Talan Hassan.
City and country Contributing editor Victoria Murphy has reported on the British royal family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and traveled the world covering several royal tours. She was the daily lookThe Royal Correspondent of and is a frequent contributor to Good Morning America.