Singapore to light up green as Prince William arrives for third annual Earthshot Awards

Prince William has arrived in Singapore to announce his Earthshot Prize - ITV News' Royal Editor Chris Ship has this report

Prince William will this week announce the next batch of companies and inventors who will be handed £1 million each at his Earthshot Awards final in Singapore.

It’s the third event in his 10-year scheme after award ceremonies in Boston last year and London in 2021.

The Prince of Wales, who is travelling without the Princess of Wales as Kate is staying to help Prince George with an important week of school exams, arrived in Singapore on Sunday.

The Awards ceremony is being hosted by Hannah Waddingham, the Ted Lasso and Sex Education star, who also hosted this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

She’ll be joined by Sterling K Brown, the American actor of This Is Us and Black Panther fame.

Performers taking part also include Australian-born actor Cate Blanchett, singer Bebe Rexha, and the groups One Republic and Bastille.

The Earthshot Awards – named after the Moonshot programme in the US in the 1960s – aims to come up with some key solutions to the world’s biggest environmental threats by the end of this decade.

The 15 finalists in the award scheme come from all over the world, and will compete for one of the five posts of £1 million prize money.

People wait for the arrival of Britain's Prince William at Jewel in Changi airport. Credit: AP

There are three finalists in each of the categories: Restore Nature, Clean Air, Revive Oceans, Waste-free World and Fix the Climate.

The UK has two finalists. A London company, Enzo, which makes tyres for electric cars. Their tyres reduce their impact as they release fewer harmful particles which pollute the air.

Colorfix, based in Norwich in Norfolk, produces a natural fabric dye which can cut chemical pollution by 80% and reduce the water used by manufacturers to rinse the dye. They have a target to be dying 15% of the world’s clothes by 2030.

The organisers have expanded the event into an ‘Earthshot Week’ in Singapore which is lighting up its main landmarks in green to mark the arrival of the Earthshot Awards in the city.

The Prince of Wales said: “It's fantastic to be back in Singapore for this year’s Earthshot Prize ceremony, after 11 years.

"Singapore’s bold vision to be a leader for environmental innovation sets the standard for others to follow.

"I am grateful to the Singaporean people for hosting us this week. Let us all take inspiration from the fantastic work being done here as we celebrate this year’s Earthshot Prize finalists."

With a population of 5.5 million on an island just 30 miles wide and 17 miles from top to bottom, Singapore is already one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

Many of its buildings are covered in living plants - it is planting a million more trees and investing in green infrastructure to lessen the impact of the urban heat effect of the city.

Earthshot organisers also say Singapore is a centre for green finance which helps to direct money and investment into sustainable companies.

William and Kate are greeted by Hannah Jones, CEO of the Earthshot Prize, as they arrive at last year's awards in Boston. Credit: AP

Hannah Jones, the CEO of Earthshot says Singapore is “at the forefront of human engineering” to find solutions to the world’s environmental problems and the country “exemplifies the optimism which we seek”.

She said the 10 winners from the first two awards in 2021 and 2022 are already making a huge difference and getting the support, finance and mentoring needed to massively scale up their operations.

Kensington Palace says Earthshot is one of Prince William’s biggest and most important projects and it is happening in Singapore at the same time as a summit of United for Wildlife, where the Prince will give a speech on Monday.

Palace aides and the Earthshot organisers acknowledge that bringing the Awards, along with the Prince and the contributors to Southeast Asia has an environment and carbon footprint.

But they argue that negative impact is more than offset by the dramatic change these projects can bring about and it’s gives them the opportunity to share the story of environmental solutions to as many people as possible around the world.

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