American Climate Leadership Awards 2023

Share Your Climate Action Successes — Win $175,000 in Cash Awards

Seeking ambitious climate engagement: We need individual and collective action now more than ever to accelerate the climate transition before 2025. You might be one of those people or groups working on this issue, and we want to hear from you! Apply now for the American Climate Leadership Awards (ACLA) which offers $175,000 in financial rewards and national recognition to exemplary climate leaders and organizations building public support and political resolve for climate solutions at local, regional, and national levels.

American Climate Leadership Awards, a catalyst: One way to proliferate climate solutions is to share models of success via the American Climate Leadership Awards. By applying for the awards or nominating an individual or entity, you are sharing your climate solutions with others and are being part of important catalytic change. The ACLA finalists exemplify outstandingly successful and replicable climate initiatives, providing inspirational models for climate action across the nation. 


Past winners making a big impact: 2022 ACLA Winner Schools for Climate Action secured 35 congressional co-sponsors for their most recent house resolution, addressing the mental health impact of climate on youth. 2021 Winner Tara Houska continues her vital work in advocating for indigenous people and the disastrous, disproportionate effects of climate change on this population. ACLA provides a platform for these individuals and organizations to go to new heights with additional financial support and recognition. Imagine taking your initiative from community to regional impact.


Exemplary 2023 Selection Committee: This year’s judges includes international environmental advocate and eco-living expert Laura Turner Seydel, 35th Mayor of Salt Lake City Jackie Biskupski, Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Earth Uprising Founder Alexandria Villaseñor, Actor and Environmental Activist and Author Ed Begley, Youth climate activist Daphne Frias, and Mothers Out Front Fresno Community Organizer LaTisha Harris. Author, activist, environmentalist and Third Act founder Bill McKibben will be chairing the Committee for the second year. 

Nominate someone or apply today: Curbing climate change requires innovation and renewed commitment. Join us in the fight by providing answers to our climate challenges and showcasing models of success.  Nominate someone or Apply today


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 2023 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, 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 2023. During the 2023 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 ACLA23 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.
  • Conservation, local and rural community leaders/groups conservation leaders and organizations; local and rural communities groups; and conservative groups.

Awards 2023 Timeline 

  • Sept 15 Awards application live 
  • Dec 1 Nominations deadline 
  • Dec 15 Applications due 
  • Jan 10, 2023 Semifinalists announced 
  • Feb 1, 2023 Final proposals due from Semifinalists
  • Feb 22, 2023 10 Finalists announced 
  • TBD, 2023 Runner up and Winner announced 

Nominate HERE or Apply HERE.

For more information:

Please Share on Social Media
Click HERE for the ACLA 2023 Social Toolkit