New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern was personally asked by the Prince of Wales to deputise in his place at the Earthshot Prize innovation summit, a sideline event at the United Nations General Assembly’s leaders week. He was sadly unable to attend after the recent passing of his Grannie, the Queen.
The Prince founded the Earthshot Prize in 2020, backed by beloved environmentalist David Attenborough and The Royal Foundation.
Every year from 2021 until 2030, Prince William, alongside a panel of Prize Council Members covering six continents, award The Earthshot Prize to five winners, one per Earthshot. The Earthshot Prize takes its name from US President John F Kennedy’s description of space travel as an audacious ‘moonshot,’ an ambition that led to the creation of other technologies.
At the event in New York, Ardern was introduced by former mayor of New York and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who said the Kiwi was ‘a global leader on climate change’ who had ‘devoted her life to building a better world’.
‘I am an exceptionally poor substitute but I also know we all understand the need for His Royal Highness to be with his family at this time,’ Ardern said.
‘My message today is one of gratitude and encouragement.
‘As governments we have a responsibility to create the incentives and the space for you to flourish … and the accountability that comes with guardianship.
‘We think often of our challenges but imagine for a moment what can be achieved by channeling our potential.’
Ardern was more than happy to share New Zealand’s efforts to combat climate change, including legislating a platform to limit New Zealand’s emissions to 1.5C, complete with an independent agency and plan to do so.
She also confirmed New Zealand’s ambition to become ‘the first country in the world to price agricultural emissions’.