Prince William urges young people to find climate change solutions

Britain’s Prince William on Wednesday called on society to inspire “optimism, confidence and enthusiasm” in the next generation to find solutions to protect the Earth

His comments at an educational event at London’s Kew Gardens, inspired by his Earthshot Prize, came two weeks after he warned of an environmental crisis facing the planet.

He was joined by his wife, Kate Middleton, as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, TV presenter Steve Backshall and double-Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover.

The group were joined by guests and pupils from The Heathland School in Hounslow, west London, who took part in a series of fun and thought-provoking activities as part of the Generation Earthshot event.

“Education is such an important part of protecting our planet,” said Prince William, who, along with Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales, will be attending the Cop26 UN climate conference next month in Glasgow.

“We must inspire in the next generation the optimism, confidence and enthusiasm to chase those solutions and to continue building a more sustainable future.

“We know that young children already identify the climate as one of their biggest worries, and Generation Earthshot aims to educate and encourage them that, together, we can find the answers.

“Children can be uniquely creative and I can’t wait to see some of the ideas that are shared with us.”

Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza commissioned her Big Ask survey of young people, which published their responses last month with worries about the environment raised by youngsters.

I want London to be a zero-pollution city so that no child has to grow up in our city breathing toxic air

Sadiq Khan, London Mayor

Four in 10 children said the environment is one of their main priorities and concerns for the future, with the second most common worry being reported was whether they would grow up to benefit from a healthy planet.

Generation Earthshot aims to inform children’s interest in the environment and encourage students and their teachers across the world to generate ideas to solve the world’s greatest environmental challenges.

“It’s been great to work with the bright young leaders of our future today to develop ideas on how to address the climate and environmental crisis,” Mr Khan said.

“I want London to be a zero-pollution city so that no child has to grow up in our city breathing toxic air, and I’m determined that we continue to tackle the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency so that we can deliver a future that’s greener, fairer and more prosperous for everyone.”

The Earthshot Prize is an ambitious awards project to recognise ideas, innovations and solutions that combat climate change and help protect the environment.

Winners in five categories will be named during a ceremony on Sunday and each will receive £1 million ($1.3m) to develop their projects.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the star-studded ceremony, hosted by Clara Amfo and Dermot O’Leary, at Alexandra Palace in north London.

Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and KSI are among those performing, and actors Dame Emma Thompson, Emma Watson, David Oyelowo and Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah will be handing out the awards.

Watch: four things the British royal family does to go green

Updated: October 13th 2021, 5:56 PM

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