Announcing the American Climate Leadership Awards 2022




How do we change the world? Grassroots climate mobilization speaks to the hearts and minds of new audiences and gets the next wave of climate warriors off the bench. ecoAmerica is launching its third annual American Climate Leadership Awards 2022 (ACLA 2022), with more cash prizes, amplified recognition and an exciting lineup of special guests for next year’s American Climate Leadership Summit. 

You can take home cash just for applying and making it to the semifinalist stage. Broadcast nationally, the Awards showcases ten finalists who are making extraordinary efforts to fight climate change and model winning solutions across the nation. The winner takes home $50,000 for their efforts, and the runner up will be awarded $25,000. Each finalist will receive $10,000. For the first time this year, 20 semifinalists will take home $20,000 ($1,000 each) in cash awards to recognize their work and acknowledge the time and effort taken to submit their application. 

Expand your impact and learn from others. Built on the premise that America needs to increase visibility and opportunities to replicate climate solutions that work, the American Climate Leadership Awards supports individuals, groups of individuals and organizations that are committed to a more just, equitable and cleaner environment. The Awards celebration is hosted during the American Climate Leadership Summit 2022 which hosts thousands of climate leaders. The awards ceremony is a rallying event for climate heroes around the country and an opportunity to celebrate inspiring leaders — and often unsung heroes — and their programs to solve some of our nation’s greatest climate challenges and most inspiring solutions. In the leadup to the event, the finalists’ initiatives will be promoted through social and traditional media channels. 

Calling individuals and organizations to apply. Above all, ACLA22, hosted by ecoAmerica, elevates best practices on climate change advocacy and on the ground action in America. The Selection Committee evaluates individuals, teams of individuals, non-profits, and for profits across the country to identify best practices and replicable climate solutions. 

Now is the time for action. We invite you to submit your applications for current programming that demonstrates measurable results. ACLA22 is looking for effective and innovative programs and compelling storytellers who articulate how they are building public support to slow and/or stop climate change in ways that are just, inclusive and equitable, and help dismantle racism and environmental racism. Take a look at 2021’s top 10 finalists, here, to learn more. 

Exemplary climate leaders ready to read your submissions. The 2022 Selection Committee currently includes international environmental advocate and eco-living expert Laura Turner Seydel, World Resources Institute Founder and Overall Climate Hero Gus Speth, Future Coalition Executive Director Katie Eder, APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin, environmental scientist, advocate, scholar, and entrepreneur Dr Michael K Dorsey, 35th Mayor of Salt Lake City Jackie Biskupski, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., and Earth Uprising Founder Alexandria Villaseñor. Author, activist, environmentalist and founder Bill McKibben will be chairing the Committee. The Committee welcomes your submissions to encourage further climate action and provide examples of creative and inspiring programs for others to follow. 

Nominate someone making a difference or apply today. Curbing climate change at every level requires creativity, perseverance, and relentless commitment. Join us in taking solutions to the next level so we can hold up exceptional examples to change the world before it’s too late. NOMINATE Someone or APPLY Today.

Watch the 2021 awards on-demand to hear from Selection Committee Chair Gina McCarthy and see short finalist videos. Our ACLA 2021 finalists exemplify outstanding climate initiatives! Check out their Replication Guides, which give change agents and the public inspiration to model and replicate continued climate action across the nation! 

Learn More About the Awards

What will the winners receive?

30 applicants will be recognized with cash awards. 

  • 20 semifinalists will receive $1,000 in recognition of their efforts. 
  • 8 finalists will receive a total of $10,000 to further your work.
  • One runner up will receive a total of $25,000. 
  • One winner will receive a total of $50,000.

The finalists, runner up and winner will receive prominent recognition at the American Climate Leadership Summit 2022 and in key communications before, during, and after the event including social and traditional media.

How do you apply?

  • Apply – Any eligible individual or organization can submit an application using this form by the December 15th deadline. Whether you are deepening your work in one community or scaling your program nationally, we invite you to apply to showcase your climate leadership. 
  • Nominate – If you know of a climate hero that you believe is deserving of this award, please nominate them here, and we will invite them to apply. 
  • Top 30 – After reviewing all applications, 30 of the most promising submissions will be named Semifinalists, and invited to submit more detailed proposals for finalist consideration. The Top 30 Semifinalists will be promoted in ecoAmerica communications and online, receiving recognition for their progress thus far in the awards process.
  • Top 10 – Semifinalist submissions will be reviewed, and from this group, ten finalists will be selected, notified, and promoted as Finalists for the Climate Leadership Awards 2022. During the 2022 American Climate Leadership Summit, the winner and runner up will be announced live.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The American Climate Leadership Awards seeks submissions from initiatives that have: 

  • Demonstrated leadership and success in engaging a broader diversity of Americans to build public support and political resolve for climate solutions. 
  • A strong track record of effective climate action, including clear program objectives, tactics, and measurable results. 
  • Successful programs or initiatives on a local, regional, or national level that can be replicated by others on a local level.
  • Centered diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in their work.
  • For current programming only (plans for future programs will not be considered). 

How will my application be evaluated?

The Selection Committee for ACLA22 is comprised of climate experts and leaders from across a diversity of  sectors and constituencies, who will score the submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Impact and a track record of success, including measurable key success metrics.
  • Replicability, in other words, how easily another person or organization could follow your example and recreate a similar program for another region or constituency. Please share your effective tactics. 
  • Innovation, including new, novel or uniquely effective tactics. 
  • Effective storytelling including demonstrating the success of how your program built public support and/or political will to slow and/or stop climate change.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion, demonstrating how your program has centered DEI and justice and worked to dismantle racism and environmental racism.

Who should apply?

    • Transformational individuals/leaders who are employing innovative methods to engage a diversity of Americans in climate change solutions locally, regionally, and/or nationally.
  • Outstanding not-for-profits that have demonstrably moved their communities, organizations, or constituencies to effective climate action and advocacy, including community, health, faith, youth and other organizations. 
  • For profits with initiatives to build support for climate action with their stakeholders.
  • NEW in 2022 – conservation leaders and organizations; local and rural communities groups; and conservative groups.

Awards 2022 Timeline 

  • Sept 15 Awards application live 
  • Dec 1 Nominations deadline 
  • Dec 15 Applications due 
  • Jan 10, 2022 Semifinalists announced 
  • Feb 1, 2022 Final proposals due from Semifinalists
  • Feb 22, 2022 10 Finalists announced 
  • March 28, 2022 Runner up and Winner announced at ACLS2022

Apply HERE 

For more information:

Please Share on Social Media
Click HERE for the ACLA 2022 Social Toolkit

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