Britain’s Prince William announced finalists for third annual Earthshot Prize saying that innovation, creativity and technology are important in the fight against climate change. The five awards of 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) are given to companies and groups that come up with new ways to save the planet.

Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales in New York.(AP)
Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales in New York.(AP)

“We’ve got to hang onto optimism and hope because it is the biggest driver of change, the biggest driver of innovation,” Prince William said after mentioning that he’d slipped away for a morning jog in New York’s Central Park.

I believe “there is hope; there are people out there doing incredible things that will have massive impacts on our futures,” he added, highlighting 15 different finalists from around the world, including efforts to reduce London air pollution from vehicle tires, reduce livestock methane emissions by new types of seaweed feedstock and use DNA technology to make more textile dyes.

While Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said, “There’s a lot of climate exaggeration. The climate is not the end of the planet. So the planet is going to be fine.”

The world will not be able to meet its agreed-upon goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures, but it won’t hit the 3-degree Celsius mark either, he said, adding that the world went on a “gigantic” innovation process related to climate change.

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen talked about more down-to-Earth financial issues saying that “the climate crisis has propelled a massive economic shift.”

She said the goal is to affirm “the importance of credible net-zero commitments and to encourage financial institutions that make them to take consistent approaches to implementation.”