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Media Release

Commission for Environmental Cooperation Launches 4th Annual Youth Innovation Challenge

Submit an innovative solution to environmental challenges by 31 March 2020 to win C$5,000 in seed funding, & more!

Montreal, 12 February 2020—North America’s environment ministers are calling on youth to champion bold solutions promoting social entrepreneurship for environmental sustainability as part of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) 4th annual Youth Innovation Challenge.

“Youth across the globe are raising the alarm on the urgency to address global environmental issues and improve resource efficiency. They understand the crucial role innovation plays in finding solutions. Through the CEC Youth Innovation Challenge, we are supporting the enterprising spirit of North American youth in addressing these complex sustainability challenges,” says the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the CEC’s Council Session Chair for 2020.

You can submit your innovative solution to the 2020 Youth Innovation Challenge through Submittable to win $5,000 in seed funding! One winner each from Canada, Mexico and the United States will present their successful solution to North America’s environment ministers at the CEC’s Council Session in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on June 26. Winners will also visit an innovation center at an academic institution in North America in collaboration with the CEC EcoInnovation Network.

The Youth Innovation Challenge opens on 12 February 2020, and submissions are due by 31 March 2020. The challenge is open to participants aged 18–30 who are residents of Canada, Mexico or the United States. Solutions can be submitted in English, French or Spanish and will be evaluated based on four criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility/replicability, and economic value. Read our criteria and guidelines and submit your solution via Submittable.

A successful solution should address an environmental sustainability challenge in North America and have a direct impact on North American communities. The submissions chosen will demonstrate the innovativeness and business potential of the proposed solution and will be supported by a thorough description, photos, videos, schematics and prototype designs. Examples of innovative solutions might include new and improved products, technologies, systems, processes, applications, services, businesses or supply chains.

Submit your solution by 31 March 2020, or join the conversation at #Youth4Innovation on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

4th Annual 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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