Climate Finance Scholarship Contest - Fossil Free RBC

A partnership between Change Course, Canada’s National Observer and, the Climate Finance Scholarship Contest is open to young people aged 18 -30 in Canada. 

Submission Guidelines & Rules 

Applicants are invited to respond to any or all of the below prompts in a written essay (maximum 800 words) or multimedia submission (maximum 2.5 minutes). 

Contest finalists will win one of two $2500 scholarships (total $5000) for written and multimedia submissions, including publication on National Observer, promotion through social media & emails, and more. Top finalists will also have their work published on Canada’s National Observer and shared across social media.

Submissions due no later than Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 11:59pm EST

Submission Topics


  • What does a climate-safe economy look like? Suppose you were part of a team in charge of the Big 6 Canadian banks. What key proposals would you offer to build a climate-safe, democratized financial system over the next 3-5 years?

  • The impacts of the climate crisis makes clear the need to phase out fossil fuels and reinvest in climate safe solutions. What is the role of financial institutions (banks, pension funds, insurance companies) in the just transition off fossil fuels toward renewable energy?

  • Within movements for climate and environmental justice, we must center justice-based climate solutions that prioritize frontline communities. This includes solutions like the return of Indigenous land, accessible and free public transit and housing, care work, renewable energy, and more. How can financial institutions better serve the build-out of climate resilient communities?

Judging Panel

Batul Gulamhusein

Batul Gulamhusein (she/they) is a campaigner, grassroots organizer and facilitator. They are a first generation settler of colour based in Tkaronto. She is a Senior Digital Campaigner at running digital campaign that demand that banks and pension funds stop funding fossil fuels, and put people before profit and extraction.

Dani Michie

Dani Michie (she/her) is the Digital Organizer at Change Course. A white settler on stolen land, she organizes for climate justice in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities on the frontlines of this crisis. Dani got her start organizing with Climate Justice Toronto and currently organizes at the grassroots level for abolition and climate

David McKie

David McKie (he/him) manages essays and opinion writing at Canada's National Observer (CNO) and is a member of the CNO executive team. David teaches at the schools of journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University, Carleton University and the University of King’s College.

Evelyn Austin

Evelyn Austin (she/her) is the Executive Director at Change Course. Previously, she was a coordinator for Divest Canada, and is a former member of Divestment and Beyond at the University of Toronto.

Lindsay Meiman

Lindsay Meiman (she/her) is a third generation Ashkenazi Jewish New Yorker, living and working on occupied Manahatta of the Munsee Lenape people. She is the Media Director for’s Climate Finance Program leading campaigns for banks and pension funds to stop funding polluters and reinvest in a climate-safe economy.

Seth Klein

Seth Klein (he/him) is the Team Lead and Director of Strategy with the Climate Emergency Unit. He was the founding director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and is a policy consultant, speaker, researcher and writer, and author.

The Climate Finance Scholarship is now closed, and no longer accepting submissions. Thank you so much for your interest in the Climate Finance Scholarship.

Contest Terms and Conditions

Each submission may only be created by one person. Team submissions will not be considered. Applicants are welcome to have their submission edited by other individuals, but content must be original. All referenced sources should be cited in a works cited section at the end. Citations will not count towards the total word count. Choose any citation style, just be consistent throughout. Automated, Artificial Intelligence (AI), or robotic entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified, including but not limited to ChatGPT. All entries must be made by the entrant as self-identified by the entrant. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification in the judging panel’s discretion.

The awarding of the Climate Finance Scholarship prize packages will be held as follows: all eligible entrants will be reviewed by the Climate Finance Scholarship judging panel. Two winners of CAD$ 2,500 each will be notified by the end of March 2024 via email. 

You must be between 18 – 30 years of age to win, enrolled in full-time or part-time school, or not enrolled at all. Grades and transcripts are not required. This $2,500 scholarship is flexible and can be used for any learning opportunity including short-term courses, certificates as well as necessary equipment, and much more. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

Certification, Copyright, Indemnity, and Disclaimer

By entering the contest, you certify that the application materials you are submitting cannot be subject to any valid conflicting claim of copyright and that nothing related to your entry violates or infringes upon another person’s copyright, or other intellectual property or confidentiality interest.

By entering the contest, you agree that Canada’s National Observer,, and Change Course may use your content submitted  in connection with the contest in publications, promotional materials, presentations, and websites. The foregoing are perpetual world-wide non- exclusive copyright licenses.  By entering this contest, you agree to release, and to indemnify and  to hold harmless Canada’s National Observer,, and Change Course and their publishers, corporate affiliates, employees, officers, agents, and advertising, design, and promotional agencies of and from any and all damages, injuries, claims, causes of actions, or losses of any kind resulting from your participation in this contest, or from use of your submission as contemplated including, but not limited to claims of infringement of intellectual property rights.

The approximate value of each prize package is CAD$ 2500. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. Scholarship prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winners. All federal, provincial and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. 

To be valid and be considered, each submission must be followed by the following certification (the words of which will not count in the word count): “The author certifies that he/she has read the Contest Rules and the foregoing submission complies with the Contest Rules.  

Art by Tanuj Samaddar