- Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit
- Billion Oyster Project
- Audiences with the UN Secretary General and the President of Ecuador
- FDNY Ten House Fire Station
Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has visited New York City to attend the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.
The second Innovation Summit, held during New York Climate Week and the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, brought together the 2022 Earthshot Prize Winners and Finalists with policymakers, global business leaders, philanthropists, and climate activists to further spotlight and scale their solutions to address the world’s most crucial environmental challenges.
His Royal Highness was met by Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solution, Global Advisor to the Winners of The Earthshot Prize and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, partners of the Innovation Summit.
The Prince addressed the Summit alongside a number of speakers and special guests including: Jacinda Ardern, Trustee, The Earthshot Prize; Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore; Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder of Breakthrough Energy; Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Australia; Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, and others.
During the Summit, the fifteen 2023 Earthshot Prize Finalists were also revealed, each eligible to receive one of five £1 million prizes to be awarded at The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Singapore in November.
Billion Oyster Project
Alongside the Innovation Summit, His Royal Highness also carried out a number of meetings and engagements. Upon arrival in New York, The Prince paid a visit to the Billion Oyster Project, an example of the innovative solutions being developed in the City to protect and restore the local environment.
Billion Oyster Project is a non-profit organization on a mission to restore oyster reefs to New York Harbor through public education initiatives. These reefs, once plentiful in New York Harbor, provide habitat for many marine species, have the ability to filter water, and help shield New York City shorelines from storm damage.
Billion Oyster Project collaborates with public schools to give local students the opportunity to help solve real-world challenges. Alongside their outreach to schools and students, the team collect discarded oyster shells from dozens of NYC restaurants, providing a key component to the restoration process. Since their founding in 2014, Billion Oyster Project has introduced 122 million oysters across more than 19 acres of the Harbor, with the help of more than 11,000 students and nearly 15,000 volunteers.
The Prince met with some of those volunteers, along with students and restauranteurs involved in the project, touring the oyster hatchery and vessel simulator. His Royal Highness also visited a shell pile on Governors Island made up of the shells which have been donated by Manhattan restaurants and are used as a resource for the restoration of the oyster reefs.
Audiences with the UN Secretary General and the President of Ecuador
Rounding off his first day in New York, The Prince met with the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, as part of the UN General Assembly taking place in the city this week.
On his second day in New York, The Prince met with the President of Ecuador, Lasso Mendoza.
FDNY Ten House Fire Station
On his final engagement in New York, The Prince visited FDNY’s Ten House Fire Station to highlight the work of the city’s first responders and hear about their experiences working in the City. His Royal Highness discussed the importance of mental health in the first responder community.
Whilst at Ten House, The Prince also visited the 9/11 war memorial before receiving a tour of the firehouse and meeting currently serving firefighters and representatives from FDNY’s Counselling Service Unit to speak to them about their experiences as first responders in the city.
FDNY Ten House is located directly across from the World Trade Center site and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Ten House was nearly destroyed on September 11th, 2001 - five members of Ten House were killed and the station was severely damaged. Ten House served as a critical command centre and recovery site in the days following 9/11, and the west façade of the building features the FDNY Memorial Wall, a 56-foot bronze bas-relief sculpture depicting a firefighting scene.
The Prince of Wales is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the emergency services community, which continues to be an important part of His Royal Highness’s work through The Royal Foundation. The Prince witnessed first-hand the challenges that emergency responders face on a daily basis during his roles as both an Air Ambulance and RAF Search and Rescue pilot.