The royals agree – women have critical roles to play in our fight against climate change.
Each year, the Earthshot Prize, founded by Prince William with the Royal Foundation, doles out awards of just over $1 million to five organizations from around the world that are doing their part to “find and grow the solutions that will repair our planet this decade.”
This year, two women-led startups – one that provides eco-friendly cookstoves to African homes, and another that bands women together to protect our oceans – were recently awarded prizes to further their climate-conscious causes.
In Kenya, Charlot Magayi’s Mukuru Clean Stoves use an organic fuel that generates far less pollution than traditional charcoal. At present, about 200,000 people throughout the country use the stoves, which are also more cost-effective, according to Earthshot.
Winning the prize means Magayi and her team – composed mostly of women – can get even more clean cookstoves to those who need them. “This award is going to help us get our stoves to the next 1 million households,” Magayi wrote in an Instagram post.
Half a world away in Australia, the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network is safeguarding both the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal lands nearby from the effects of climate change. “This place has always been our home, but … we risk losing it and the unique culture that has existed here for millennia,” managing director Larissa Hale told Earthshot. “Our Women Rangers Network exists to protect our home and continue our traditions.”
At present, only 20% of the Indigenous rangers performing necessary clean-up and fire-prevention work are women. The Network recruits and trains women who will become the more diverse future of this climate change mitigation effort.
Other 2022 Earthshot Prize honorees include a company that turns seaweed into a sustainable packing material, and the makers of a “greenhouse-in-a-box” that helps small farmers thrive.
The work performed by the winning companies “prove[s] we can overcome our planet’s greatest challenges,” the newly-minted Prince of Wales was quoted as saying by TIME.com during the awards ceremony. “And by supporting and scaling them we can change our future.”