5 Apr 2023

Prince William: Jacinda Ardern's appointment to Earthshot Prize team will bring 'a rich infusion of new thinking'

1:06 pm on 5 April 2023
Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, arrive for the Earthshot Prize awards at the MGM Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts on 2 December, 2022.

Britain's Prince William and Princess Catherine arrive for the 2022 Earthshot Prize awards at the MGM Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. The Prince of Wales says Jacinda Ardern, who has recently been appointed a trustee of the award, was one of the first people he spoke to when setting the initiative up and her encouragement was crucial to its early success. Photo: Joseph Prezioso / AFP

Jacinda Ardern has been appointed a trustee of the Prince of Wales' prestigious environment award, Kensington Palace has confirmed.

Prince William said it was an honour to welcome the former leader of New Zealand to the Earthshot Prize.

Ardern resigned in January saying she no longer had "enough in the tank" to lead the country.

The former prime minister said she was "humbled and excited to be working with the Earthshot team".

Speaking of the appointment, Prince William said Ardern's "life-long commitment to supporting sustainable and environmental solutions" and her experience would "bring a rich infusion of new thinking to our mission".

"Four years ago, before the Earthshot Prize even had a name, Jacinda was one of the first people I spoke to, and her encouragement and advice was crucial to the prize's early success.

"I am hugely grateful to her for joining us as she takes the next steps in her career," he added.

The Earthshot Prize was created by Prince William to fund projects that aim to save the planet.

Last year's awards, hosted in December by Prince William and Princess Catherine, saw five prizes handed out to winners from the UK, India, Australia, Kenya and Oman.

On joining Earthshot's board of trustees, Ardern said since its creation she had believed in the prize's "power to encourage and spread not only the innovation we desperately need, but also optimism".

Ardern attended the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York in September 2022 where she spoke on behalf of Prince William, who had stayed in the UK following the death of the late Queen Elizabeth.

Chair of the board of trustees Christiana Figueres said she was "thrilled" to welcome Ardern and had long been inspired by her "work as a catalysing force in the effort to combat climate change".

Ardern, who will deliver her final speech at New Zealand's Parliament tonight and will formally leave politics next week, has also been appointed Special Envoy for the Christchurch Call, an initiative which she co-founded in 2019 to bring technology companies and countries together to combat extremism.

Prince William and Ardern have met on numerous occasions, including when the former leader of New Zealand visited Kensington Palace during a visit to Britain in July last year.

Prince William also visited New Zealand in 2019 where he met survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks.


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