Delahaye beat 12 finalists including UK documentary photographer Simon Norfolk who won the £27,000 Prix Pictet Commission, to fund an upcoming assignment in Afghanistan.

UK photographer Edmund Clark was also among the shortlisted photographers in an ‘extremely close-run contest’, said chair of the judging panel Sir David King.

The contest sought photos that ‘communicate powerful messages of global significance under the broad subject of sustainability, with particular attention to environmental issues’, said organisers.

King praised the ‘sheer artistic excellence, dramatic intensity and narrative power’ of Delahaye’s images, which were entered into the Power category and plucked from his work over the past ten years.

The winners were announced by Lord Foster at a reception held at the Saatchi Gallery in London where the finalists’ work has gone on show until 28 October.

The Prix Pictet award was set up by Pictet & Cie, a private Swiss bank, in 2008.

Picture credit: Luc Delahaye & Galerie Nathalie Obadia