After a ten-month global search, the first winners of the prestigious Earthshot Prize – awarded by The Royal Foundation – have been named in a ceremony held in London’s Alexandra Palace.

Nominees from Costa Rica, India, The Bahamas, Italy and Thailand have been awarded with The Earthshot Prize, each receiving £1 million to ‘scale their remarkable environmental solutions to repair our planet’. The accolade also entitles the winners to access a global network of tailored support from technical experts, philanthropists, NGOs and private sector businesses to assist them in ‘accelerating their impact’.

Judged by The Earthshot Prize Council, the winners were chosen for their ‘ground-breaking solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet’ and their ability to scale their innovations globally.

The Earthshot Prize Winners for each 2021 category are:

  • Protect and Restore Nature: The Republic of Costa Rica, a country which once destroyed the majority of its forests has now doubled its number of trees and is viewed as a role model. The winning project is a scheme which pays local citizens to restore natural ecosystems, leading to the Costa Rican rainforest’s recovery
  • Clean our Air: Takachar, India: This portable machine was created to turn agricultural waste into fertilizer, enabling farmers to stop burning their fields and thus reducing air pollution
  • Revive our Oceans: Coral Vita, Bahamas: A collaboration by two friends who are growing coral in the Bahamas. The project is designed to restore the world’s dying coral reefs using special tanks within which the pair have developed a way to grow coral up to 50 times faster than occurs in nature
  • Build a Waste-Free World: The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy: An initiative by the City of Milan which sees unused food collected and redistributed to those who need it the most, simultaneously tackling hunger and food waste
  • Fix our Climate: AEM Electrolyser, Thailand/Germany/Italy: A design which uses renewable energy (as opposed to the usual fossil fuel) to create hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

A global broadcast connected the winners to the awards ceremony, where Sir David Attenborough was joined by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and a host of celebrities.

The Earthshot Prize will travel to the US for the 2022 round of nominations, which opens in January.