Published On: Thu, Apr 14th, 2022

Prince William tells Cate Blanchett he is a ‘stubborn optimist’ when it comes to tackling the climate crisis | UK News

The Duke of Cambridge has said he feels like a “stubborn optimist” when it comes to tackling environmental issues, as he hailed the “game-changing nature” of his Earthshot Prize.

Speaking during a podcast co-hosted by actress Cate Blanchett, William said he aimed to scale up the competition’s 2021 winners and explore more eco-solutions led by women and people from indigenous communities for the 2022 nominees.

The Duke said his passion for nature was “piqued” by his father Prince Charles and his late grandfather Prince Phillip.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to the Alexandra Palace ceremony

He recalled playing outdoors as a child: climbing trees, digging ditches and being out in the ‘wild and wet”.

William added that the lead up to the awards for his Earthshot Prize had been “terrifying” but he was pleased with how it went.

The interview took place on The Climate of Change Podcast, hosted by Blanchett, a member of the Earthshot Prize judging panel, and activist Danny Kennedy, who nominated a number of projects for the contest.

When Blanchett said he appeared “quite hopeful” that we may be able to “work our way out of what seems to be a crisis”, William replied by quoting Christiana Figuerres, chair of Earthshot’s trustees, saying he felt like a “stubborn optimist”.

“(Christiana) has given me a lot of hope that this can happen and I believe it, and I’m seeing it with my own eyes” he said. “It’s really inspiring, it’s really hopeful and I do believe we can make huge strides.”

He added: “I said to the prize council members, it’s everyone doing their bit and helping and supporting what we’re trying to do – it’s all of us in it together. In the same collective spirit it would be great if we could tackle climate change and environmental things the same way.

The Duke of Cambridge speaks with prize winner for Fix our Climate, Vaitea Cowan, (center left) and other finalists and winners from The Earthshot Prize during a meeting at the Glasgow Science Centre, during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture date: Tuesday November 2, 2021.
The Duke of Cambridge speaks with prize winner and other finalists from The Earthshot Prize

The inaugural Earthshot Prize ceremony was staged last October at Alexandra Palace, and among those who walked the “green carpet” was actress Emma Watson, wearing a wedding dress made of 10 dresses from Oxfam, and Dame Emma Thompson.

Each of the five winners received £1 million in prize money, for categories including protect and restore nature; clean our air; revive our oceans; build a waste free world; and fix our climate.

Read more on the Earthshot Prize: First winners revealed at star-studded ceremony

Organisers said if the winning ideas were implemented by 2030, it would improve life for all.

Nominations have opened for the 2022 Earthshot Prize, being held in the US.

The Duke told Blanchett that he would like to see greater representation of nominees who are female or from indigenous backgrounds.

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