Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organising goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s, The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.
Five, one million-pound prizes will be awarded each year for the next ten years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.
The Earthshot Prize is about much more than awarding achievement – it is a decade of action to convene the environmental world with funders, businesses and individuals to maximise impact and take solutions to scale, to celebrate the people and places driving change; and to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet.
It’s a moment of intense pride for us as Takachar, a Delhi based start-up has won clean the air ‘Earthshot’ award.
Globally, we generate $120 billion of agricultural waste every year. What farmers cannot sell, they often burn, with catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment. The burning of agricultural waste causes air pollution that in some areas has reduced life expectancy by a decade.
This plays out every year in the fields surrounding New Delhi. Smoke from man-made infernos fills the air, with serious consequences for the health of locals. One of their number is Vidyut Mohan. His social enterprise, Takachar, is putting out the fire.
Takachar has developed a cheap, small-scale, portable technology that attaches to tractors in remote farms. The machine converts crop residues into sellable bio-products like fuel and fertilizer.
Takachar’s technology reduces smoke emissions by up to 98% which will help improve the air quality that currently reduces the affected population’s life expectancy by up to 5 years. If scaled, it could cut a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year: a win for India’s farmers will be a win in the fight against climate change.