A lithium-ion battery recycler and a program to end illegal fishing are among the winners of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which supports companies tackling the environmental crisis.
The five champions, unveiled at an event held in Singapore, will each receive £1 million ($1.1 million) to scale their solution as well as other support. The companies focus on everything from cleaner energy to nature preservation and seek to address problems associated with pollution, biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.
Extreme heat this year underscores the importance of finding novel ways to lower carbon emissions and protect nature. Earth set new records for heat in 2023 and global warming has driven unprecedented disasters such as Canada’s wildfires and floods in Libya and Greece.
GRST, which developed a new way to build and recycle vital lithium-ion batteries, won in the category of “Clean Our Air.”
“The world needs a massive amount of batteries to achieve net zero by 2050, but a revolution is needed to make these batteries cleaner and more recyclable,” Justin Hung, chief executive and co-founder of GRST, said in a statement.
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The other winners were WildAid Marine Program, which is scaling marine enforcement to end illegal fishing; S4S Technologies, which makes processing equipment to combat food waste; Acción Andina, a community-based initiative to protect native high Andean forest ecosystems; and Boomitra, which aims to incentivize land restoration through a verified carbon-credit marketplace.
The Earthshot Prize, founded by Prince William in 2020, is backed by an international alliance of organizations, including the Bezos Earth Fund, Breakthrough Energy Foundation, Jack Ma Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Marc and Lynne Benioff. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, and Bloomberg Philanthropies are both members of the alliance; Michael Bloomberg is the majority owner of the former and the founder of the latter.
Last year’s winners included carbon removal company 44.01, electrolyzer maker Enapter, coral restoration innovations from Coral Vita, the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network and climate-friendly farming startup Kheyti.
Earlier this year more than 1,100 applicants were narrowed down to 15 finalists by a global panel of scientific, academic, and subject-matter experts. The winners were picked by Prince William and the Earthshot Prize Council, chaired by Christiana Figueres, an architect of the Paris Agreement.
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