GCF launches Green Champions Awards to recognise outstanding climate change efforts in developing countries

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 20 Aug 2019

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has launched the GCF Green Champions Awards to recognise and promote the most noteworthy and successful efforts to fight climate change in developing countries.

The awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations driving climate transformation. The GCF Green Champions Awards will promote initiatives that stand as examples of environmental, social and business-led commitments to combat climate change. These include activities that limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and those that encourage adaptation to climate change impacts.

Nominations will open in the coming days, and the awards will be made at a ceremony in the margins of COP25 in Santiago, Chile, in December 2019.

GCF Deputy Executive Javier Manzanares launched the awards on 19 August at GCF’s Global Programming Conference.

“We want to recognise the contribution of these climate champions, and shine a light on their efforts,” said Mr Manzanares. “Around the world, dedicated people are responding to the threats we are facing, and they are changing our world for the better.”

The awards are designed to acknowledge achievements that are charting new paths of climate action in the following areas.

Awards Categories

  • Climate Youth Champion - Young people who are making a difference in responding to the climate challenge. The nominees must be aged 25 years or less.
  • Climate Gender Champion - A person that has a track record in emphasising the inclusiveness of women in climate action.
  • Climate Community Champion - A person or organisation that is central to a community’s engagement with climate action.
  • Transformational Country Champion - A person or organisation in a developing country which has made notable progress in pursuing a GCF country programme, using GCF readiness effectively; excelling in stakeholder consultation, etc.
  • Climate Entrepreneur - A person or organisation making inroads in bringing the private sector into climate finance. 
  • Climate Lifetime Achievement Champion - An individual who is a recognized trailblazer in promoting climate action.


Organisations and individuals engaged in supporting GCF projects and readiness activities are eligible to be nominated. However, it will not be limited to GCF activities: any individual or organisation engaged in noteworthy climate action will be eligible for nomination.

Nominations will be accepted from September 2nd on the Green Champions Awards website.

The awards jury will consider the following evaluation criteria:

  • Paradigm Shift Potential: How has the champion helped to develop long-lasting low-emission or climate-resilient pathways
  • Climate Impact / Result Potential: How has the champion created a difference across the planet or in their local communities in tackling climate change?
  • Innovation: How has the champion used new methods to drive positive change? This could include using technology, financial instruments, interpersonal networks, new ways of thinking.
  • Knowledge Sharing: How effective has the champion been in sharing knowledge and experiences in the climate sphere, and has this changed other people’s behavior?