Prince William discusses protecting the environment in first speech The Queen's death.

Britain's Prince William, King Charles' eldest son and now heir to the throne, told a virtual conference "Protecting the environment was a cause close to my Grandmother's heart."

The new Prince of Wales spoke to the climate change conference he has backed, the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.

William delivered his message in a pre-recorded video, played out on Wednesday (September 21). He mentioned the ""saddest of circumstances that means I cannot join you in person today," following the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit was held in New York city on Wednesday and took place in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

"I know that the world is an uncertain place right now. That many families and communities across the globe are facing unimaginable challenges – from conflict to energy crises and food shortages," said the Prince of Wales.

"While addressing these in the short-term, we must also remain resolutely focused on tackling the greatest challenges that threaten our tomorrow. Because if we don’t, the changing climate will only serve to entrench these immediate challenges into fundamental global issues, severely impacting the lives of each and every one of us. That is why our collective mission is so urgent," he added, calling for a team effort.

According to Bloomberg, the Earthshot Prize is a "catalytic global environment challenge to unleash urgent optimism & action by discovering, accelerating, awarding, spotlighting & scaling solutions to repair & regenerate the planet."

The Earthshot Prize 2022 is expected to take place in the United States later in the year.

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