Cornell Atkinson seeks nominations for Earthshot Prize

The Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability is soliciting nominations for The Earthshot Prize, a new global award supported by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to tackle the world’s biggest environmental challenges.

Cornell is one of more than 200 organizations from around the world invited to submit nominations for all five Earthshot categories:

  • Protect and Restore Nature;
  • Clean Our Air;
  • Revive Our Oceans;
  • Build a Waste-Free World; and
  • Fix Our Climate.

Each of the five categories carries a £1 million ($1.3 million) award, which will be awarded annually through 2030.

The new prize aims to turn pessimism on environmental issues into optimism by highlighting the ability of human ingenuity to bring about change, and by inspiring action.

David M. Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell Atkinson, said the prize reflects the immense challenges humanity faces.

 “This global prize is meant to motivate the world’s scientific leaders and innovators to think and act boldly,” Lodge said. “Humans damaged our environment to derive short-term benefits, but now we know that we’ve made it increasingly hard for us to thrive. 

“Only large-scale, long-term changes in human behavior, and implementation of technological innovation, can reverse the damages we’ve wrought,” he said. “This prize seeks to recognize some of the ideas and activities that can solve these challenges.”

Each of the Earthshot categories is supported by scientific targets including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and other international environmental measures.

To have an idea considered for nomination, entrants must fill out the online form by 5 p.m. Jan. 8, 2021.

Earthshot projects may be conducted by individuals, communities, businesses and organizations. Prize nominations will be vetted by professionals, experts and influential personalities. The inaugural winners will be announced in fall 2021 in London.

“The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice,” said Prince William, discussing The Earthshot Prize, which he helped establish. “Either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve.

“People can achieve great things,” he said. “The next 10 years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

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