Earthshot Prize Winners, Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, NotPla and 44.01!

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Earthshot Prize Winners, Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef, NotPla and 44.01!



Last week, The Climate Daily reported on EarthShot Prize finalists from Australia, who we called, The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network. It’s a network of over 60 women, whose training is encouraging new conservation approaches. Well guess what? They won the 2022 Earthshot Prize in the “Revive Our Oceans” category!

Their story begins with the Great Barrier Reef. Faced by a warming planet, the Great Barrier Reef, lying in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, is under constant threat. On land, meanwhile, flora and fauna are ravaged by increasingly regular bushfires. The region’s indigenous rangers are vital to its defense. Their work brings together ancient knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, with most modern tools, like drones that monitor coral changes, forest fires and land degradation.

Yet in Queensland only 20% of indigenous rangers are women. That’s where the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network comes in. Over the past four years, the network has helped build the next generation of women rangers. The program has trained over 60 women, encouraging new conservation approaches by sharing knowledge and telling stories. Members of the network have gone on to find work as rangers in Queensland or in conservation elsewhere.

Their work is vital. The data they have collected has given us critical insight into one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. As custodians of the land, the rangers have also protected sites of great cultural and spiritual significance. As prize winners, indigenous women rangers can put the funds toward spanning the planet, helping to repair ecosystems from Hawaii to Nepal and Tanzania. Congratulations,  Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers!!  

DEEPER DIVE: QWIR, EarthShot Prize



This year’s EarthShot Prize in the category of Build a Waste-Free World is NotPla. Notpla is a sustainable packaging start-up founded in 2014. We are a multidisciplinary team, all passionate about the environment and fighting against single-use plastic. Notpla is a non-chemically modified, polysaccharide-based material. It’s classified as a natural, organic substance by EU law. Just like a fruit peel, Notpla can claim to be “biodegradable” and “home-compostable”.

Co-founders of Notpla, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, met while studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. After their first video of an edible bubble encapsulating water went viral, they collaborated with chemists and chemical engineers from Imperial College to develop their first product, Ooho. In 2019 the brand Notpla was born, an abbreviation of ‘not plastic’, accompanied by an identity and brand strategy that better represents our mission and values and positions us as an environmental sustainability leader.

Notpla partnered with Lucozade to replace single-use plastic cups and bottles with 36,000 Ooho at the London Marathon. Worked with Just Eat to launch a food container coated with seaweed, a revolutionary move for the takeaway industry that has traditionally relied on plastic or chemicals to hold food. Closed a £10 million Series A financing round to rapidly accelerate our portfolio’s industrialisation.

Why does NotPla matter to us? The concept of plastic as a material to wrap, store, carry or protect things is not going away. That genie is out of the bottle; that horse is out of the barn. And the genie’s bottle’s been smashed and the horse’s barn’s is a smoldering pile of ashes. So finding a plastic, plant-based alternative is our only hope. NotPla is that hope. In December 2021, we closed a £10 million Series A financing round led by Horizons Ventures, with participation from existing investors Astanor Ventures, Lupa Systems and Torch Capital.

DEEPER DIVE: NotPla, EarthShot Prize, YouTube, Horizons Ventures, Astanor Ventures, Lupa Systems, Torch Capital



And finally today, the 2022 EarthShot Prize winner in the category of “Fix Our Climate” is Oman-based company 44.01. While many companies have made progress capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, storing – or better still eliminating – millions of metric tons of it cheaply and safely remains a challenge. The company’s name comes from the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, 44.01.

Unlike carbon ‘storage’, which involves burying CO2 underground in disused oil-wells or aquifers, mineralization removes CO2 forever.  It does it by  removing CO2 permanently by mineralizing it in peridotite, a rock found in abundance in Oman as well as in America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Peridotite is a dense, coarse-grained igneous rock consisting mostly of the silicate minerals olivine and pyroxene. Peridotite is ultramafic, as the rock contains less than 45% silica. Ultramafic rock is considered by scientists to be an ideal medium in which to engineer carbon mineralization. 

Why does 44.01 matter to us? The company has three primary goals—mineralize CO2 and as the world transitions to clean forms of energy, 44.01 is also providing new employment to engineers and geologists working in the fossil fuel industry. 

And given Oman has the largest concentration of peridotite in the world, carbon mineralization could also be a boon for workers in the region. By seeking to solve global problems, 44.01 will solve local ones too. Thinking globally and acting locally. That’s 44.01. The company aims to capture and permanently mineralize 2.2 billion tons of CO2 by 2040.

DEEPER DIVE: 44.01, EarthShot Prize, ScienceDirect, Reuters, Wikipedia