2024 Ashden awards for climate innovation in the UK and Global South
The Ashden Awards bring publicity, grants and connections to outstanding climate solutions, either in the UK or ODA countries.
Prize of up to £25,000, ongoing development support, publicity, promotional films, and all winners join the Ashden network – giving them the chance to connect with new partners through masterclasses, investor pitching events and introductions to influential policy makers.
The annual Ashden Awards are free to enter, and benefits for winners include a cash grant, access to funders, and a promotional film about their work. All finalists receive publicity and opportunities as part of the Ashden network. Find out more about the Ashden Awards here.
“Ashden winners come in all shapes and sizes. We don’t reward the biggest organisations or slickest marketing pitches – we’re looking for passion, potential and commitment to our values. We’ve put winners on stage at the COP climate talks and in global media.”
The 2024 Ashden climate awards are now open to projects boosting green skills and training, tackling inequality and empowering communities. Winners receive funding grants of £10,000 for UK projects or £25,000 for projects in the Global South – defined as countries receiving ODA (Official Development Assistance) funding.
Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, social enterprises and community groups are all eligible. Work must be currently available to clients, customers or beneficiaries.
Energy Innovation (UK)
Lowering the carbon impact of our energy use is essential to the UK’s shared zero carbon future. The Ashden Award for Energy Innovation (UK) will boost trailblazing technologies, services and business models with the potential for major impact.
The winning organisation’s energy innovation could be speeding the rollout of smart energy systems, making our energy system more flexible, or giving consumers more control over decarbonising their home or business.
Nature Based Solutions (UK)
The Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions (UK) will boost innovative and inclusive schemes tackling the dangers of flooding, heat stress and water scarcity. These could feature tree planting, creating wetlands or restoring natural resources. They might involve local voluntary groups, national charities or councils and public bodies. The best examples will embrace the priorities and diversity of local communities.
People’s Energy (UK)
The Ashden Award for People’s Energy will shine a light on the most inspirational and practical energy solutions in UK communities. These could include energy sharing projects, ways to power or heat local community buildings, or new ways of generating, storing and sharing energy at the neighbourhood scale. We are inviting applications from individual projects or partnerships taking the initiative locally to power our communities to a cleaner fairer future.
Energy Innovation (Global South)
Hundreds of millions of people in the Global South go without access to energy – making it harder to work, learn, relax and stay healthy.
The Ashden Award for Energy Innovation (Global South) will boost work helping people access clean power – whether they previously lived without access to energy, or relied on polluting technologies like kerosene lamps and diesel generators.
The award will recognise trailblazers tackling energy generation and storage, as well as the digitisation needed to create modern energy systems.
Natural Climate Solutions (Global South)
The Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions will boost the work of Indigenous peoples and local communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia carrying out their vision of ecological restoration and the protection of their territories, as well as strengthening the incomes, wellbeing and security of their communities, – enabling them to act as guardians and restorers of their lands.
The winner could be turning palm or soy plantation areas into sustainable productive land, helping communities restore degraded or desertified ecosystems, or supporting community agroforestry enterprises. The winner’s work will be centred on the needs, priorities and knowledge of indigenous people and local communities.
Powering Futures in Clean Energy (Global South)
The Ashden Award for Powering Futures in Clean Energy will boost organisations bringing skills to marginalised people in low-income countries. The training could be in any part of the clean energy sector and could boost financial, technical, management or soft skills.
As well as focusing on excluded groups, the winner will be pioneering an innovative approach and tackling the transition from training to paid employment.
Powering refugees and displaced people (Global South)
94% of people living in refugee camps go without electricity, and millions are put at risk from dangerous cooking fumes. Without access to clean energy, refugees and displaced people can struggle to earn a living, study and stay healthy.
The Ashden Award for Powering Refugees and Displaced People will boost the pioneers tackling this problem – those who are creating change in their own communities with inspiring, practical solutions.
The award is run in partnership with the Global Refugee Network. It will support work powering up homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other community spaces. It will honour initiatives that are driven by refugee communities, or carried out in genuine partnership with them.
The work submitted for an award should must be innovative. It might feature new technology, new approaches to marketing and distribution, or a new way of sharing training and skills. It might involve improved financing mechanisms or an innovative business model.
Work should also have the potential to create significant impact. This impact might be a large drop in greenhouse gas emissions, raised incomes, better health, reduced inequality, or a combination of positive outcomes. Impact might be achieved by the growth of the organisation applying, or by the spread of their ideas to other organisations.
Initiatives should boost resilience and be as participatory and democratic as possible – designed and run with input from the people they support, particularly marginalised groups. Applicants should also show good governance and management.