Prince William, Indian girl take centre stage at COP26

Glasgow, Nov 3 (IANS) Recognising climate change as an existential threat to humanity, an optimistic schoolgirl from Tamil Nadu has impressed world leaders with an impressive address at the ongoing UN Climate Change conference (COP26) in this Scottish city, saying she’s not just from India but from Earth.
The finalist of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, 15-year-old Vinisha Umashankar, amidst the presence of heads of state and government delegations said: “I’m not just a girl from India. I’m a girl from earth and I’m proud to be so.”
“I’m also a student, innovator, environmentalist and entrepreneur but most importantly, I’m an optimist,” she said emphatically in her brief address that got a rousing applause from the audience, comprising Prince William, who stood on stage and proudly listened to her speech.
Prince William later posted a message of appreciation for Umashankar, saying how proud he was to see her speak on the global platform.
“Feeling optimistic as I head home from #COP26 having met our @EarthshotPrize. Winners & Finalists and discussed their solutions to repair our planet. Especially proud to see Vinisha speaking in front of the world, demanding change so that her generation can have a better future,” he tweeted.
Attending the leaders’ event ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’, Prince William delivered a speech on Tuesday in which he showcased the prize winners and finalists and solutions to the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
He was joined on stage by India-based 15-year-old Earthshot Prize Finalist, Vinisha, who called on world leaders, international organisations, civil society, and business leaders to back the innovations, solutions and projects working to repair the planet and join the next generation in taking action.
During the summit, the winner and finalists of the Fix our Climate Earthshot displayed their ground-breaking environmental solutions in front of heads of state and government delegations.
This included the AEM Electrolyser from Enapter, who won The Earthshot Prize for their ingenious green hydrogen technology that has the power to transform how to power our homes and buildings and fuel our transport.
Also on display were solutions from Bangladesh-based Finalist SOLbazaar who showcased the technology behind the world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network, and Reeddi Capsules for their solar-powered energy capsule which is transforming clean energy across Nigeria.
Following the event, winners and finalists met leaders and government representatives from their respective countries.
Earlier in the day at COP26, Global Advisor to the Winners, Michael R. Bloomberg, hosted an Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Assembly reception which was the first time winners and finalists met with some of the Global Alliance and Prize Council Members, including Christiana Figueres, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, and Luisa Neubauer in person.
The Global Alliance is an unprecedented network of philanthropists, NGOs and some of the world’s biggest companies and brands representing 3.6 million employees globally that together will help support and scale the innovative and ground-breaking solutions developed by the 15 Earthshot Prize Finalists.

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