The Earthshot Prize, an environmental award launched by the Prince of Wales in the UK, has pledged to do more to promote plant-based solutions to the current climate crisis. Currently, the awards have five categories (Protect and Restore Nature, Clean Our Air, Revive Our Oceans, Build a Waste-Free World, and Fix Our Climate), with the winner of each receiving a £1 million prize.

The UK vegan organisation GenV has been calling for the Earthshot Prize to introduce a sixth category, Advance a Plant-Based Food System, in a campaign backed by celebrities such as Sharon Osbourne, Olivia Colman, Emma Thompson, Alicia Silverstone, Mark Rylance, and Annie Lennox.

During the campaign, Emma Thompson said, “The food we eat and the way it is produced is possibly the most significant way in which we impact our health and that of the planet. That’s why I support a campaign to support people trying to create a plant-based, human- and planet-friendly food system.” 

Now, the Earthshot Prize invited GenV to select two sustainable food system experts to join the judging panel for the ‘Protect and Restore Nature’ category of the 2024 awards. These experts are Oxford University researcher Dr Joseph Poore and Our World in Data scientist Dr Hannah Ritchie. GenV was also invited to be Official Nominators for the ‘Protect and Restore Nature’ category, becoming the first vegan organization to hold this role. 

Naomi Hallum, GenV CEO, said, “We would like to thank Earthshot Prize for recognizing the need to elevate plant-based solutions, and taking action to ensure they are included in the 2024 awards. Animal agriculture is a leading driver of deforestation, wildlife loss, air and water pollution, and climate breakdown, and we need our environmental groups to be honest about the destructive nature of the animal farming industry. We believe there is still time to heal our planet, but it is absolutely clear that we have to change our food system. Earthshot Prize Council Member Sir David Attenborough is right when he says that the planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters, and we are grateful that Earthshot is listening.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.