AP

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment

Dec 2, 2022, 7:42 AM | Updated: 5:54 pm

Britain's Prince William and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President K...

Britain's Prince William and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President Kennedy, along with her children John and Tatiana Schlossberg tour the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Boston. (Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

(Matt Stone/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

BOSTON (AP) — Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world’s environmental problems through “hope, optimism and urgency.”

The Prince of Wales paid homage to the late President John F. Kennedy, saying his Earthshot Prize was inspired by Kennedy’s audacious moonshot speech in 1962 that mobilized the nation to put astronauts on the moon. That same sense of urgency and scale is needed now to protect the environment, William said.

“In the same way the space effort six decades ago created jobs, boosted economies and provided hope, so too can the solutions borne of tonight’s Earthshot Prize winners,” William said.

The second annual Earthshot Prize offered 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) in prize money to each of the winners in five separate categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination and climate change. The winners and all 15 finalists will receive help in expanding their projects to meet global demand.

The winners, announced at Boston’s MGM Music Hall, were:

— A female-founded startup that’s providing cleaner-burning biomass stoves in Africa

— A United Kingdom company making biodegradable packaging from seaweed

— A “greenhouse-in-a-box” concept created to increase yields on small farms in India

— A technique for transforming atmospheric carbon into rock in Oman in the Middle East

— A woman-led effort to create a new generation of indigenous rangers in Australia.

Providing the star power for the glitzy show were Annie Lennox, Ellie Goulding and Chloe x Halle live in Boston, and Billie Eilish performing remotely. The event also featured videos narrated by naturalist David Attenborough and actor Cate Blanchett. Prizes were presented by actor Rami Malek, comedian Catherine O’Hara, and actor and activist Shailene Woodley.

The entertainers were eager to help.

“It’s the greatest crisis of our lifetime, and I appreciate what Prince William is doing,” Malek said before heading into the venue. “And in the next 10 years I think the impact will be staggering. And we can really effect change in the greatest way with these innovators who are being awarded this evening.”

Before the event, William met privately for 30 minutes with Biden after the two shook hands and spoke briefly in the cold near the water outside of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and Museum. As William walked down the steps in his suit, Biden, wearing in a black winter coat, shouted: “Where’s your topcoat?”

William also met Caroline Kennedy, the ambassador to Australia and the late president’s daughter. William toured the museum with Kennedy and told her that her father was “the man who inspired our mission.”

William and his wife, Kate, earlier attended a welcome Wednesday at City Hall and then a Boston Celtics game before the royal couple spent much of Thursday hearing about the threats of climate change and solutions in the works.

William became heir apparent less than three months ago with the death of his grandmother, the queen, but he already has been crowned Britain’s chief environmentalist. That was apparent during the Boston visit, which earned praise for drawing attention to pollution and climate change and the need to scale up solutions.

“I just appreciate that they are using platform and publicity to bring attention to meaningful climate work,” said Joe Christo, managing director of Stone Living Lab, which researches nature-based approaches to climate adaptation and was among those who met the royal couple at Boston Harbor on Thursday.

“I do know his dad is a big environmentalist,” he said. “He seems to be doing a great job continuing that legacy.”

William is following in the footsteps of his environmentally minded grandfather Prince Philip — the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II — and more recently his father and Elizabeth’s successor, King Charles III.

William’s father, in his former capacity as prince, was for decades one of Britain’s most prominent environmental voices — blasting the ills of pollution. Last year, he stood before world leaders at a U.N. climate conference in Scotland and suggested the threats posed by climate change and biodiversity loss were no different than those posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Now that he is king, Charles is expected to be more careful with his words and must stay out of politics and government policy, in accordance with the traditions of Britain’s constitutional monarchy. This year, he did not attend the U.N. climate conference, which was held in Egypt.

The caution presents an opportunity for William to step into that role as the royal family’s environmental advocate and speak more forcefully about the issues once associated with his father.

There is no better example than the Earthshot Prize.

“It’s a huge deal to Prince William,” Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty Magazine. “He knows he can attract attention from the most important people. That really is the core of the Boston trip.”

William and Kate got a firsthand look at some recent innovations at a green technology startup incubator called Greentown Labs, in Somerville. Among them were solar-powered autonomous boats and low-carbon cement.

“Climate change is a global problem, so it’s so important to have global leaders talking about the importance of taking action,” said Lara Cottingham, vice president of strategy policy and climate impact for Greentown Labs.

The couple’s first trip to the U.S. since 2014 is part of the royal family’s efforts to change its international image. After Elizabeth’s death, Charles has made clear that his will be a slimmed-down monarchy, with less pomp and ceremony than its predecessors. William and Kate arrived in Boston on a commercial British Airways flight.

___

Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report in Boston.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

4 days ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

6 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

10 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

11 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

14 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment