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Media Release

Commission for Environmental Cooperation Launches 3rd Youth Innovation Challenge

Montreal, 5 March 2019—North American environmental ministers are calling on youth to champion bold ideas for green growth as part of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s #Youth4Innovation Challenge.

“We are looking for innovations that address the complex sustainability challenges currently faced by communities across North America,” says Josefa González Blanco, Mexican Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources and CEC Council Chair.

Prospective applicants, submit your science, technology or business innovations to the #Youth4Innovation Challenge and you could win $5,000 in seed funding! As a winner of the Innovation Challenge, you could also present your winning green growth idea to North American environmental leaders and meet with experts from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) at the Council Session in Mexico City, in June.

“We are inviting students and young entrepreneurs to propose ideas on a broad range of topics that will address sustainability issues in their communities, including green growth and trade, environment, ecosystems and health,” adds Mexico’s Secretary González Blanco.

The Challenge opens on 5 March 2019 (see below), and idea submissions are due by 5 April 2019. The CEC Youth Innovation Challenge is open to residents from Canada, Mexico and the United States (and its territories), aged 18–30. Ideas can be submitted in English, French or Spanish and will be evaluated based on four criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility/replicability, and potential profitability.

Applicants, post ideas, or comment and vote on the ideas of fellow innovators beginning on 5 March! Make sure to tell us about your green idea on #Youth4Innovation Facebook page or on Twitter at @CECweb and don’t forget to use the #Youth4Innovation hashtag.

We encourage Challenge participants to look beyond incremental solutions and propose bold ideas that will leapfrog to solutions addressing the complex sustainability challenges facing North American communities.

Poster for the 2019 Youth Innovation Challenge

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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