The Duke of Cambridge has penned the introduction to a new book described as an “authoritative guide” to his Earthshot Prize.
The book, Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet, highlights the urgency of the environmental challenge facing the world, while also showcasing some of the solutions underway.
It features contributions from Sir David Attenborough, the naturalist and broadcaster, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an environmental activist, singer Shakira, and Naoko Yamazaki, a former astronaut - all members of the Earthshot Prize Council.
The book’s publication at the end of September will coincide with a five-part BBC One series focusing on different aspects of the £50million prize.
It precedes the first Earthshot Prize award ceremony, which takes place in London on October 17.
Collin Butfield, former executive director at international conservation charity World Wide Fund For Nature, and producer and director Jonnie Hughes, who were behind the David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet documentary, wrote the Earthshot book and created the forthcoming television series.
They said in a joint statement: “The Earthshot concept is simple: we have 10 years to turn the tide, 50 ingenious ideas, and one goal - to save our planet.
“What we need is action and optimism.
“Our book reaches from the coral reefs of Mexico, via palm oil plantations in Borneo and sheep farms in Australia, to the forests of Kenya.
“It’s an explanation of how we’ve got to this point, and how - by acting collectively - we can fix it.”
Nick Davies, the managing director of publisher John Murray, said the book would arrive just as the environmental crisis “finally reached mass consciousness”.
He added: “It’s poised to be the decade’s biggest environmental title, a major commercial book on climate change that will educate and inform readers globally, and help inspire the decisive, collective action.
“This is more than a prize and a book; it is one of the defining social and cultural movements of the next decade, involving everyone committed to tackling the greatest challenge we face – to curtail climate change and repair the planet.”
What is Earthshot?
The Earthshot Prize is a global award designed to create significant change over the next 10 years.
Launched by the Duke in 2019, it will recognise ideas and technologies that can safeguard the planet by offering five prizes of £1m annually to support environmental and conservation projects.
It features five categories, or Earthshots, which organisers say, if achieved by 2030, would improve life for all.
Protect and restore nature
Clean our air
Revive our oceans
Build a waste-free world
Fix our climate
Its name is inspired by the concept of moonshots, which since the American mission to put a man on the moon has become shorthand for ambitious and ground-breaking goals.
It is hoped that the prize will stimulate technological breakthroughs just as the moonshot that John F. Kennedy proposed in the 1960s led to the development of new technology such as the MRI scanner, satellite dishes, smoke detectors and advanced water filters.