Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Youth Innovation Challenge 2021 [North America Only]

Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Youth Innovation Challenge 2021 [North America Only]



Deadline: July 5, 2021

Applications for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Youth Innovation Challenge 2021 are now open. The 2021 Youth Innovation Challenge invites North American youth to propose innovative solutions to support communities in becoming more resilient and adaptive to climate change and help foster equal access to a healthy environment for all, particularly those underserved and vulnerable in Canada, Mexico and the United States (including isolated, remote, and Indigenous communities and peoples).

Since 2017, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation has hosted the annual Youth Innovation Challenge, a contest that invites youth from Canada, Mexico and the United States to submit their innovative ideas and solutions for improving both the environment and the economy in North America. This 5th annual challenge focuses on Climate Change and Environmental Justice Innovations for Resilient Communities.


  • Applicants will compete for up to $15,000 CAD per country in seed funding, a chance to present their solutions to North America’s top environmental officials and an opportunity to engage in a youth-led networking and mentorship event. Up to two winning submissions per country will be selected.
  • In addition, winners will receive technical advice from experts associated with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to help advance their solution.


  • Applicants must be 18 to 30 years old on the date they upload their solution. The solution may be uploaded by an individual or a team of submitters.
  • Participants must be residents of Canada, Mexico or the United States.
  • Participants must demonstrate that their innovative solution supports community resilience to climate change and climate-related issues, and directly yields equitable environmental benefits and resilience for local communities (e.g., by addressing environmental injustices affecting communities of color, low-income, and Indigenous communities).
  • By submitting a solution, participants confirm that they are the sole author or have obtained written permission from all team members who contributed to developing the solution before uploading it to the submission platform.
  • Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) staff, Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) members, CEC, JPAC and TEKEG immediate family members, and Youth Innovation Challenge judges or immediate family members of judges (siblings, children, grandchildren) are not eligible to enter.

Additional Considerations

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  • Possible innovations could consider the use of traditional ecological knowledge, nature-based solutions and support for sustainable innovation and emerging clean technologies, among others, and/or consider local knowledge and transform that knowledge into an innovative action or solution.
  • Priority will be given to those solutions from young entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (an entrepreneur within an existing organization) that demonstrate a direct impact on promoting equal access to a healthy environment, particularly from social and economic perspectives.


  • Read the following Challenge guidelines carefully
  • You will need to create a free Submittable account in order to submit these forms. Here is a quick guide on how to get started (available in English only)
  • You can save a draft of your work if you would prefer to finish filling out the form at a later date.
  • They will follow up with you about your submission by email. Be sure the email address you used to sign up for your Submittable Account is one that you check regularly.
  • Reach out to Submittable’s Customer Support team with any technical questions at support@submittable.com. (support available in English only)
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