Fiji’s Youth Activist Ernest Gibson Join Global Earthshot Prize Council

Climate youth activists Luisa Neubauer and Ernest Gibson will join a global team of high-profile leaders from the environmental, philanthropic, business, sport, and entertainment worlds as the newest members of The Earthshot Prize Council.

Luisa is a climate activist, author, and co-organizer of the school strike movement in Germany. Ernest is a community health activist from Fiji who is part of the seven-member United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change and the Pacific Island representative.

Together they bring a wealth of experience in activating young people, local communities, and governments to support the environment and fight climate change.

Ernest said he was excited to be part of this journey.

“We know that if we do not start making changes and being solutions-oriented now, we will not achieve the outcome that we need by 2030. We have a unique (and life-changing) opportunity to change our behaviors, to change the way we value and give currency to different things, and to fundamentally change our system of governance – a system that we know has failed us time and time again.

“Being a young, Pacific islander in this space, gives an opportunity to reshape our narrative; a narrative that has often been forced upon us. We are not helpless victims, we are active changemakers, that not only can be but have been the reason for a lot of the strides that we as a world have made in the environmental and ecological spaces.”

Ernest said that often people say that they are sorry for the situation that our generation has been left with.

“But it is so important to recognize that the only way that we will ever solve these problems, is if we do so together. This is not only a fight of this generation and the next, it is an intergenerational fight.”

Ahead of the announcement, Luisa and Ernest joined a video call with Prince William to discuss their work in environmental activism and the critical role that The Earthshot Prize can play in repairing our
planet over the next ten years.

During the call, Prince William said: ‘It is fantastic to have not only two inspirational people who care a lot about the environment and the climate, but also young people. I think the youth movement has shown just how important the environment and climate are being held and that’s been really interesting to watch young people around the world speak up a lot about it. I’m so pleased that you’re both on board – you bring much-needed youthfulness, expertise, and activism to The Earthshot Prize Council.”

During this conversation, Luisa noted: “The climate crisis can appear like a story of a drowning ship, a story of how things are getting worse and worse until there is nothing left to fight for. It’s up to us to turn this story around, from a ship that is drowning to this ship we are building. We are looking for solutions that will come from people who rise together and decide we need to make changes.”

Ernest said: “I’m tired of being told that something is a lost cause. [The Earthshot Prize] provides a level of hope that is enormously needed. What we need now is solutions because we don’t have time for anything else. We have ten years to be able to turn this ship around. I feel privileged and blessed to be asked to be a part of [The Earthshot Prize]” he added.

The Earthshot Prize Council is a global team of influential individuals from a wide range of sectors, all of whom are committed to championing action to repair the planet.

The Prize Council will choose the final winners of The Earthshot Prize, which will be awarded at a global prize ceremony hosted in London later this year. Launched in October 2020, The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental award that aims to discover and scale solutions to the world’s biggest environmental challenges in the areas of waste, oceans, air pollution, nature, and climate.

The full list of The Earthshot Prize Council, including those announced in October last year, are:

• His Royal Highness Prince William;
• Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan);
• Cate Blanchett – actor, producer, and humanitarian (Australia);
• Christiana Figueres – Former UN climate chief, responsible for the landmark Paris
Agreement on Climate Change (Costa Rica);
• Dani Alves – professional footballer (Brazil);
• Sir David Attenborough – broadcaster and natural historian (UK);
• Ernest Gibson – community activist (Fiji);
• Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – environmental activist (Chad);
• Indra Nooyi – business executive and former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo (US & India);
• Jack Ma – philanthropist, entrepreneur and UNSDG Advocate (China);
• Luisa Neubauer – climate justice activist (Germany);
• Naoko Yamazaki – former astronaut onboard the International Space Station (Japan);
• Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – Director-General World Trade Organisation (Nigeria);
• Shakira Mebarak – singer and philanthropist (Colombia);
• Yao Ming – Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and environmentalist (China).

Every year for the next ten years, Members of The Earthshot Prize Council will choose five winners to award The Earthshot Prize for the most viable solutions to the biggest environmental challenges facing our planet.

Winners will receive a £1 million prize fund and tailored support to scale their solutions and realize an even greater impact of their ground-breaking work. The first awards ceremony will take place in London in Autumn 2021.

About The Earthshot Prize:
The Earthshot Prize is a new global prize for the environment, launched in October 2020 by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, designed to incentivize change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

The Prize is backed by The Earthshot Prize Council, a global team of influential individuals, who will be responsible for awarding The Earthshot Prize every year from 2021 until 2030.