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Prince William 'inspired' and 'proud' of young environmentalists

The Duke of Cambridge spoke to young environmentalists

Emily Nash

He is passionate about finding solutions to some of the planet’s biggest challenges, so the Duke of Cambridge said he was “inspired” after talking to young environmentalists last week.

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Prince William spoke by videocall from Sandringham to the seven people named 2020's Young Champions of the Earth by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

He told the group, each honoured for their work to improve their communities, “I’m incredibly inspired and just so proud about everything you guys have done.”

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He added: “There’s a lot of opportunity in the environmental space. If young people have a tiny bit of that passion that you have clearly shown a lot of, then there's a really good opportunity to find your feet and find a way and do good in the environmental world. 

“You are the shining lights of that movement and that interest. It allows people to see your path, your journey and go ‘do you know what, I want some of that, I can do that, I’ve got some ideas too.’”

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The winners, from China, Greece, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Peru and the United States, told the Duke about their initiatives and how the pandemic had impacted them.

Vidyut Mohan, from Delhi, who turns agricultural waste into energy, said the crisis had “taught me to live a lot (more) frugally, using things that I absolutely need instead of using things that I want or want to buy.”

The Duke agreed: “It helps us, with the pandemic, to really refocus our lives a little bit and work out what’s really important to us.”

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Prince William spoke to young environmentalists 

When Nzambi Matee, from Kenya, who manufactures sustainable building materials, said she had convinced her grandmother not to use plastic bags, William replied: “If every young person educates their family on the environmental impact they are having, that in turn is making a difference and changing the tide and creating that momentum.”

The Duke also told the group about his Earthshot Prize, explaining his intention to “bring hope and optimism back to the environment debate” and to “try and encourage change through hope and action rather than pessimism and despair.”

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William is passionate about the cause 

“Please keep an eye on the EarthShot Prize because hopefully that’s going to be something that all of you guys could easily be in the mix for,” he added.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is a Global Alliance Partner of The Earthshot Prize, which aims to find at least 50 solutions to the world’s biggest environmental problems by 2030.

The first five winners will be announced in London this Autumn. 

For more information see: www.earthshotprize.org.

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