These thematic topics are meant to guide The Harbour’s priorities when deciding which projects to fund and what topics we should encourage to be embedded into proposals. All approved applications will need to be aligned with one or more of the thematic topics. You will have an opportunity to explain your alignment with one of these thematic topics in your application. The three thematic topics were developed in consultation with our Youth Steering Committee and are meant to be reassessed based on the changing needs of the youth-led climate movement.


1. Climate Justice

Projects that support and bring justice to disadvantaged groups; helping people who are receiving the most adverse effects from the climate crisis.

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“Climate justice” is a term, and more than that a movement, that acknowledges that climate change can have different social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations (Simmons, 2020). In fact, communities that have contributed the least to climate change are impacted the most while populations that have contributed the most are impacted the least. This is because vulnerable and marginalized populations are often left unprotected while populations in places of privilege often have access to many adaptation technologies and strategies to mitigate the worst harms of the climate crisis. To advance climate justice, The Harbour will focus on projects that advance climate solutions in a just and equitable way.

This means The Harbour aims to support projects that:

  • Address the systemic problems and social inequalities that have led to and exacerbate the climate crisis.
  • Center the rest and resiliency of young climate activists.
  • Promote climate solutions that “leave no one behind”, especially Indigenous Peoples.
  • Implement adaptation strategies in communities most affected by climate crisis.

2. Amplifying Youth Perspectives

Projects that help bring youth-led initiatives, ideas and concerns to the forefront; using your voice to advocate and amplify the youth-led climate movement.

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The majority (7/10) of Canadians agree with the demands of the youth-led movement, yet high-level decision makers have not meaningfully incorporated youth recommendations. Therefore, there needs to be a greater push to embed youth voices in places where climate decisions are being made in the public, private, and social sectors. This also means that youth need to be empowered, educated and caught up with their adult counterparts to ensure that they are equipped to make meaningful recommendations and engage in advocacy. This thematic topic focuses on how we ensure that youth priorities are mainstreamed in their regional and local contexts. A young person living in rural Northwest Territories is going to have an entirely different view on the effects of the climate crisis in comparison to someone living in urban Toronto. To amplify youth perspectives, The Harbour is committed to supporting youth in finding assertive and creative ways to have their perspectives reflected in the private, public, and charitable sector.

This means The Harbour aims to support projects that:

  • Engage and educate civil society and/or the “unusual suspects” to foster political will to support the youth-led climate movement.
  • Assert youth voices in spaces where they are typically marginalized or even ignored through advocacy, non-violent direct action, etc.
  • Raise awareness and educate others about youth-led climate priorities and solutions to shape how Canadians perceive the climate crisis.

3. Climate Innovation

Projects that directly benefit the planet and reduce negative impacts on the environment.

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There are a myriad of project ideas out there to develop a more climate resilient future. Beyond reimagining energy, there are an increasing large number of creative ways to reduce emissions and/or prevent further environmental harm. Youth are known for being the best agents of change because of their ability to innovate and come up with new and exciting ideas whether that be through energy projects such as solar panel installations, sustainable material projects such as mycelium material development, or adaptation projects such as the installation of permeable pavement to prevent flooding in urban areas.

The Harbour supports projects that:

  • Embark on new projects to promote a circular economy and more responsible consumption habits.
  • Directly reduce or sequester carbon to decarbonize and advocate for climate technology and solutions to be adopted in their communities.
  • Research and develop new and accessible goods and services that make it easier for Canadians to choose the climate-friendly choice as their default.
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