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Boston is ‘doing the work’ of addressing climate change, says Earthshot Prize CEO

The Earthshot Prize, founded by Prince William, each year is awarded to five people who have made large contributions to environmentalism and solutions to climate change.

Organizers plan to host the annual awards ceremony in different parts of the world. Last year the awards were hosted at the Alexandra Palace in London. This year, the ceremony will be held at Boston’s MGM Music Hall. For Earthshot Prize CEO Hannah Jones and other organizers, the city was a clear choice because it has been a leader in addressing climate change.

“We wanted to bring always the awards to a city that we could also point to and say, this is actually another reason to be hopeful because they are doing the work and they are doing it collectively,” Jones said Wednesday on Boston Public Radio.

Jones explained that Prince William — who along with Princess Kate arrived in Boston Wednesday — was also inspired by a Boston area native: President John F. Kennedy.

“He really took inspiration from President J. F. Kennedy’s ‘moonshot’ challenge to the American people and really modeled the Earthshot prize around that,” Jones said, referencing the president’s challenge to reach the moon in less than a decade. “How can we spotlight the incredible innovations that are happening around the world? How can we help to scale those innovations?”

She said the organization believes it’s essential to make radical changes in the next decade to fix our climate. The prize is currently planned to be awarded annually until 2030. Winners are also given a 1 million pound (approximately $1.2 million) grant for them to continue their work.

The organization has been working in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Library. Its executive director, Rachel Flor, spoke of the experience of working with the royals and members of the Earthshot Prize.

“It has been a real pleasure and interesting opportunity to get to know the Earthshot Prize and the commitment of the Prince of Wales through this partnership. That’s been a real gift to see that public service,” Flor said.

The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony is scheduled for Friday. It will be available to stream on the PBS Video App starting Monday at 2 p.m. and on the PBS YouTube channel Monday at 8 p.m. The event will also air Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. on GBH 2.

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