Prince William Visits Earthshot Prize Winners in Singapore

SINGAPORE — Britain’s Prince William walked the green carpet on Tuesday at an extravagant event in Singapore where he awarded companies that fight climate change. The third annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony was the first held in Asia. Winners including an Indian maker of solar-powered dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that help restore Andean forests and deter illegal fishing were recognized for their efforts to reduce pollution and combat climate change. The prince said the winners showed that hope does remain even as the planet continues to set heat records.

The prize honors “caring individuals who have made a difference in the lives of others and inspired others to act,” according to the website of Harvard University, which administers the award. The winners are presented with a book of essays that tell their stories. They also receive a $3,000 cash award and a commissioned trophy. The competition is open to all people who have a story of caring and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

At the airport, where he was welcomed by cheering crowds, William stopped for a stunning view of the 40-meter-high Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall that was lit green for his arrival. He also planted a tree at the new Jewel, a shopping mall that is home to Singapore’s biggest greenhouse.

The heir to the British throne last visited Singapore with his wife, Catherine, in 2012. He is visiting this time solo to host the Earthshot Prize ceremony. His foundation launched the award program in 2020 to promote technologies and solutions that help mitigate global warming.

During the ceremony, the prince met with winners of an earlier contest aimed at finding the most promising young science, technology, engineering and math students in the country. He also met with entrepreneurs who had been selected as winners of the Temasek Trust Social Impact Prize, which offers a $100,000 grant to support their business idea or initiative.

He is scheduled to meet Singaporeans who are working with organizations to protect and enhance the environment. In addition, he will attend a United for Wildlife summit featuring representatives from government agencies, businesses and conservation groups working to combat the global trade in illegal wildlife products.

Earlier in the day, he met with Temasek Trust officials to discuss the expansion of the partnership between the prize and the private Singapore company. The expanded relationship aims to spotlight the role of Asia in the fight against climate change and unlock global learnings and insights. It will help identify, scale and celebrate solutions that can restore the planet, the organizations said. The partnership also includes a multi-year commitment from Temasek to invest in the Earthshot Prize. The prize was first introduced in 2012 and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. It has since been endorsed by 14 other organizations. It will be run by a new, independent board of directors.