The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to write a joint opinion piece warning of the race to save the Earth from climate change.
Second in line to the throne William and billionaire businessman Mr Bloomberg penned an article for USA Today highlighting the duke’s Earthshot Prize.
Mr Bloomberg, one of the world’s wealthiest men with a net worth estimated at more than 60 billion US dollars (£46.3 billion), has joined William’s ambitious environmental initiative as a global adviser to the Earthshot Prize winners.
The pair wrote: “An hour of change and challenge is upon us again, but this time the question isn’t whether we can reach the moon. It’s whether we can save the Earth.”
William and Mr Bloomberg described the prize as “a new call to action to the world”.
Mr Bloomberg, who founded the global provider of financial data Bloomberg LP, is the UN special envoy for climate ambition and solutions.
Having won the New York City mayoral race as a Republican, he went on to begin a campaign for the Democratic presidential 2020 nomination.
But he eventually dropped out and committed at least 100 million US dollars (£77.2 million) to helping Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump.
Mr Bloomberg came under scrutiny during his presidential campaign for his past comments about women and minorities.
He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he was glad to take on the role of global adviser.
“I look forward to drawing on my network of philanthropic, business and government leaders to help scale and replicate the winners’ solutions,” he said.
His company said it had given behind-the-scenes support for the design of William’s project in 2019.
The £50 million Earthshot Prize was launched by the duke last autumn and aims to recognise solutions, ideas and technologies that “repair the planet”.
It takes inspiration from John F Kennedy’s Moon Shot project, which advanced mankind’s achievements.
The duke and Mr Bloomberg wrote: “The race to put a man on the moon created new jobs, launched new companies and spurred technological innovations that have spread and improved lives all over the planet – long after the Moon Shot mission had been completed.
“The race to defeat climate change and protect the environment will be no different.
“The same steps that advance technology and cut carbon pollution also create jobs in new industries, while protecting public health and the natural resources we all depend on – changes that will benefit generations to come.”
Every year from 2021 until the end of the decade, winners of the five Earthshots – protect and restore nature; clean our air; revive our oceans; build a waste-free world; and fix our climate – will each receive £1 million to be used for their ideas.
Fifteen finalists were announced earlier this month, including a teenager from India who has designed a solar-powered ironing cart and the nation of Costa Rica, which has pioneered a project paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems.
This year’s winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London next month.