11 February 2020

Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

Worth one million euros, this award distinguishes people or organisations worldwide that have stood to the fore in tackling the climate crisis

Photo: Markus Spiske

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will grant, for the first time this year the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. Worth one million euros, this award distinguishes people and/or organisations worldwide that have stood to the fore in tackling the climate crisis.

Nominations may be submitted by 24 March 2020 and the Prize will be awarded on 20 July at a ceremony to be held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation headquarters in Lisbon.

The Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity distinguishes innovative pathways with high impact potential to assist in processes of mitigation and/or adaptation to climate change, one of the greatest threats to this century and with devastating consequences for the wellbeing of current and future generations, the economy, and our natural ecosystems.

The establishing of this Prize is aligned with one of the core missions of the Foundation: supporting sustainable development, actively fostering the wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable populations, in harmony with environmental protection and economic prosperity.

The Foundation considers any potential recognition areas those that can contributing towards reducing or absorbing greenhouse gas emissions; actions boosting the resilience of people and the environment towards the impacts of climate change; and as well as mobilising financial resources, whether public or private, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy.

“With this initiative, the Foundation highlights its commitment to urgent climate action, ensuring the conditions for carbon neutral societies, fostering more resilient communities and better prepared for future global changes, while protecting the most vulnerable in particular.”

Isabel Mota, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation President

Jury and selection

The selection process is independent and undertaken by a Jury external to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, made up of a Grand Jury of internationally recognised experts together with a Expert Committee.

Chaired by Jorge Sampaio, President of the Portuguese Republic between 1996 and 2006, the Grand Jury includes renowned figures such as Miguel Bastos Araújo (Geographer, Pessoa Award 2018), Miguel Arias Cañete (former European Energy and Climate Action Commissioner), Hans Johan Schellnhuber (Founder and Emeritus Director of the Potsdam Institute of Research on Climate Change  Impacts) and Katherine Richardson (Coordinator of the Centre of Sustainability Science at the University of Copenhagen), among others.

The Expert Committee, chaired by Miguel Bastos Araújo, includes figures such as Arlindo Oliveira (Full Professor at the Department of Information Technology, the Higher Technical Institute of Lisbon), Rik Leemans (Director of the Environmental Systems Analysis Group, University of Wageningen), Carsten Rahbek (Director of the Centre of Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen) and Viriato Soromenho Marques (Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Lisbon).

The final decision is the responsibility of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation based upon the proposal submitted by the Grand Jury stemming from the short list selected by the Expert Committee.

Applications are to be submitted by third parties; self-nominations and not permitted. All the nominations are to be submitted online.

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