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The Mass Media

The Earthshot Moon Prize brought the Royals to Boston

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Keith Sliney

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat game at TD Garden.

The world’s most prestigious environmental honor, The Earthshot Moon Prize, was hosted in Boston for the first time. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, The Earthshot prize was founded by Prince William and the Royal Foundation in 2020. The 2022 award ceremony was organized in partnership with the JFK Library Foundation and took place on Friday, Dec. 2, at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway. On Dec. 4, BBC aired the event. The event will also be aired on PBS and on the Earthshot Prize YouTube channels on Dec. 5. (1)

The ambitious prize is designed to acknowledge the work of individuals responding to the urgent global climate crisis. The award also aims to encourage individuals and communities to expand innovative solutions to help the world move towards more stable climatic conditions.

Since the foundation of Earthshot, five prizes have been awarded every year, and the winners receive £1 million each to accelerate their projects, based on numerous goals. The prize rewards solutions towards achieving five “Earthshot goals,” which include protecting and restoring nature, clean air, reviving oceans, building a waste-free world, and fixing our climate. Winners of The Earthshot Prize have access to a global platform, and their tales are featured worldwide. (2)

Prince William and Princess Catherine graced the award ceremony, along with many other prominent figures. Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, natural historian Sir David Attenborough, and singer-songwriter Annie Lennox were some of the other notable figures who attended the ceremony. Clara Amfo, a broadcaster, podcaster and TV presenter, alongside Daniel Dae Kim, were the co-hosts of the ceremony. (3)

The Earthshot Moon Prize–Boston 2022 Host Committee was formulated to support the ceremony’s organization and itinerary. The members of the host committee acted as advisors, highlighting the region’s work on environmental issues and amplifying the story of Boston as a leading example of an emerging green city. (1)

UMass Boston’s Dean of the School of Environment, Bob Chen, was named as one of the host committee members for the prize. In a brief call to discuss the event, Chen said that UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suarez Orozco nominated him to sit on the committee. Chen was thrilled to represent UMass Boston and the School of Environment and was incredibly happy about the student engagement.

When asked about the importance of the Earthshot Prize, he said: “the biggest takeaway is that the Earthshot Moon Prize demonstrates hope and optimism. The young people of the world are very innovative and have come up with solutions or approaches that are novel, interesting and could work.” Chen added that it is not always science and technology at play, but the people in power who amplify the ideas that give hope and optimism about a better future.

Recognizing the importance of the prize and the urgency to engage young people in addressing environmental issues, Chen envisions student involvement as much as possible through different initiatives like the annual Earth Day Symposium, Earth Week and more. “This year, we plan to do Earthshot for Earth,” said Chen. “I hope to continue the momentum of Earthshot beyond Friday’s event.”

The Earthshot Prize 2022 provided Boston with a historic opportunity to showcase and promote the innovative efforts the city has been working on to thrive as a green city. The committee also included proponents of the Green New Deal, such as U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry, among many others. (4)

“I am inspired that so many of Boston’s leaders will join us in celebrating The Earthshot Prize and committing to the ambitious goal we all share of building a healthy and bright future for generations to come,” said Mayor Wu. (4)

Sources:

1. https://www.jfklibrary.org/events-and-awards/the-earthshot-prize-boston-2022

2. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/11/03/science/prince-williams-earthshot-prize-ceremony-be-held-dec-2-boston/

3. https://www.boston.com/culture/celebs/2022/11/28/prince-william-is-bringing-a-star-studded-lineup-to-boston-for-his-earthshot-prize-awards-ceremony/

4. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2022/11/03/prince-william-earthshot-prize-boston-what-to-know/

About the Contributor
Kaushar Barejiya, News Editor