Prince William has launched a Nobel-style environmental award with a £50 million prize fund.
The 38-year-old royal – who has Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, with the Duchess of Cambridge – has launched the Earthshot Prize with the ambition of celebrating ideas and technologies that can help to stop the climate crisis.
Asked if he risked becoming too political by supporting the project, Prince William replied: “I think with all things in life if you are willing to make a difference you have to put yourself out there and you have to commit yourself and be determined and maybe go places that you might feel uncomfortable, other people might feel uncomfortable, but really for me the prize is about bringing people together.
“It’s a team prize and if we can really harness everyone’s ability to come together and tackle the Earth’s biggest environmental problems then I think the prize is the right way of doing it because you’re rewarding, you’re incentivising and you’re encouraging.”
The Prince acknowledged that his involvement with the Earthshot Prize is likely to attract criticism.
However, he is ready for people to challenge him about climate change.
He told Sky News: “I’m sure people will challenge it or question it and the more debate we have about that, we welcome that.
“Like I said, this is a team prize so if there are people out there who think they can do it better, they can help, then please come onboard and we’d love that.”
Prince William also admitted he finds it difficult to discuss climate change with his kids.
He explained: “I think to be perfectly honest I’m struggling to keep the optimism levels going with my own children, and that’s really kind of like a self … an understanding moment where you kind of look at yourself and go ‘am I doing enough on this?’
“Are we really at this stage in life when I can’t be hugely optimistic and pleased that my children are getting so into nature because you kind of worry and dread they’re soon going to realise that we are in a very, very dangerous and difficult time in the environment and that as a parent, you feel you’re letting them down immediately.”