EJ4Climate: Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience

What is the EJ4Climate Grant Program?

The CEC established this grant program in 2021 to fund projects that target underserved and vulnerable communities, and Indigenous communities, in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, to prepare them for climate-related impacts.

The EJ4Climate Grant Program provides funding directly to community-based organizations and seeks to support environmental justice by facilitating the involvement and empowerment of communities searching for solutions and the development of partnerships to address their environmental and human health vulnerabilities, including those due to climate change impacts.

At this moment, the CEC has no current call for proposals. Please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media to stay informed on future campaigns.

Integrating community-led environmental education in support of Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience

For this second grant cycle of EJ4Climate, the CEC is calling for project proposals that will integrate community-led environmental education in support of environmental justice and community resilience to climate-related impacts.

Community-led environmental education can enable communities and individuals to analyze their problems and include a variety of perspectives in a learning-by-sharing approach. It helps transform local knowledge into innovative actions or solutions and promotes the active participation of all members of society. It also allows individuals to see themselves and others as leaders of their own education and helps them create tools for driving positive change to obtain tangible, equitable benefits for local communities.


Community Response to the EJ4Climate Grant Program

The first cycle of the EJ4Climate Grant Program concluded with the selection of 15 grant recipients representing a range of communities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The 2021 inaugural cycle, which received over 375 compelling proposals, acts as a strong indicator of the value of programs that support communities with environmental justice concerns in their efforts to foster climate resilience.

Learn more about previous EJ4Climate grant recipients and their projects.

Project List

Map showing the location of the EJ4Climate projects for 2021

Definitions of the concepts

“Even though there is no internationally accepted definition, environmental justice broadly covers fair and inclusive engagements of all in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation. It, therefore, refers directly to access to environment-related goods, such as clean water and energy or safe urban areas, or to protection from negative environmental pressures, like air and water pollution or deforestation (distributional justice). It also translates into equal access to the decision-making process of environmental policies (procedural justice). Finally, it has been argued that environmental justice should also achieve a healthy environment for all (substantive justice).”1

Environmental Justice can also be defined as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”2

In Mexico, the concept of environmental equity (equidad ambiental) is embedded in the law.3

1 OECD, “Session 7 Environmental justice and empowering women and youth,” p. 2, 2020 Global Forum on Environment (internal citations omitted).
2 https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice
3 General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA), Article 21 paragraph IV. Principles important to the advancement of environmental justice and equity are also included in the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as a the Escazú Agreement. Available at: https://www.cepal.org/en/escazuagreement.

We can define “underserved communities” as “populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life…”and includes individuals “such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”4

See also California’s definition of “climate vulnerability” developed for its Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program.5

Environmental education is “a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.”6

In addition, “a Community-Led approach uses the practices of empowerment, mutual learning and consensus building to create bottom-up, citizen-driven change.”7

What We’re Looking For

For the EJ4Climate Grant Program, the CEC is calling for projects proposals that advance:

Community resilience

Support community resilience to climate change and climate-related impacts.

Local participation

Benefit underserved and vulnerable communities, and/or Indigenous communities, and ensure the meaningful participation of local residents.

Tangible results

Include a sound implementation plan, that identifies actors, actions, beneficiaries, goals, and tangible, measurable results.


Create formal or informal partnerships, collaborations or linkages among relevant stakeholders.


If you have questions, please contact:

Grant Programs Coordinator
(514) 350-4346