Queen Rania of Jordan reveals her motivation for joining forces with Prince William and other leading world figures for the groundbreaking environmental competition.
Her Majesty is a member of the global prize council deciding the winners of the Earthshot Prize, to be announced on 17 October in a glittering London ceremony, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend.
In her own powerful words, she tells us: "When it comes to saving our planet, giving up is simply not an option," adding she is "humbled and honoured" to be a part of "William's visionary Earthshot Prize."
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"In the Middle East, the last few years have seen more than their share of emergencies: conflicts, a refugee crisis and a global pandemic, to name a few. And this summer, our long-simmering climate emergency seemed to reach its boiling point.
"Many Middle Eastern countries are experiencing record-breaking heatwaves, punishing droughts, tropical cyclones and unprecedented forest fires. The region is warming at twice the global average, with scientists predicting 4 ̊C rise in average temperatures by 2050.
"For me, climate change hits close to home. My country, Jordan, is one of the four driest nations in the world, and we share our limited water supplies with a significant refugee population. With rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns, scientists predict Jordan will receive even less rain in the years to come. Already, local crops are suffering, dams are running dry, and the
Dead Sea is shrinking.
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Queen Rania hikes a section of the 650km Jordan Trail in 2017
"This situation is urgent, but it is far from hopeless. The Earthshot Prize aims to repair our planet by harnessing one of our most powerful renewable resources: human ingenuity. There is no limit to our potential, and every new idea takes us one step closer to preventing environmental disaster and reversing the damage we've already done.
"Prince William's visionary Earthshot Prize, which I am humbled and honoured to be part of, is a launching pad for groundbreaking green ideas. It will invest in the activists and innovators seeking to restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, reduce waste and repair our climate. It will connect environmental leaders with business leaders, providing the capital and platform they need to maximise their impact and bring solutions to scale.
Queen Rania visits the city of Ajloun last year to encourage sustainable domestic tourism
"Pessimism can be poisonous; if left unchecked, it can seep into our subconscious, robbing us of our hopes, ambitions, and enthusiasm to effect change. When it comes to saving our planet, giving up is simply not an option. We do not have the luxury of shrugging our shoulders or telling ourselves there's nothing we can do – and the incredible accomplishments of every Earthshot finalist are proof that humanity has what it takes to restore our world.
"For our species, the sky really is the limit. We are constantly surpassing our own expectations and each generation goes further than the previous one could ever have imagined. We must direct our drive, brilliance and unfailing optimism toward tackling clear and compelling targets. I hope that the Earthshot Prize will inspire people around the world to once again believe in
our ability to achieve great things, for our planet and for our fellow human beings."
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