Matt Hammer, 2016 Finalist

Matt Hammer, 2016 Finalist

AGE: 24
HOMETOWN: Calgary, Treaty No. 7 Territory, AB

Matt grew up getting his energy from the Rocky Mountains in southern Alberta. His love of nature and desire to help out where needed led him into environmentalism.

He has fought for fossil fuel divestment with Divest UVic, attended COP21, and brought climate action to his hometown through the Calgary Climate Action Network and a banner intervention at the Calgary Stampede. He has worked to get progressive politicians elected in order to further environmentally sound agendas and very recently helped organized PowerShift Alberta, a gathering that brought together hundreds of youth, first nations groups and labor groups from the prairies for a weekend of climate justice organization, skill building and community building.

Matt has a vision of a just and successful transition away from fossil fuels, and has chosen Alberta, the heart of Canada’s fossil fuel economy, to work tirelessly towards this critical goal. He is very sensitive to the challenge of moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy in Alberta while maintaining jobs for people to support their families.

He stresses the importance of being compassionate towards Albertans as they face the costs of transitioning away from fossil fuels, and believes that Albertan values of caring and innovation will be key to moving past the systems in which people are stuck. Matt is in embedded in and helping to grow movements in Alberta that drive this kind of compassionate, innovative change.

According to other COP21 Canadian Youth Delegation members, Matt is intelligent, dedicated to his community, honest and kind. He is also patient, willing to take on hard tasks and always stays true to his beliefs.

Matt plans to attend law school in the fall, with the goal of ultimately changing the legal systems which block change. He would like to work on climate litigation and help create new corporate forms that are socially just, provide social services and drive renewable energy. He aspires to work as an environmental lawyer but believes we still need a proper definition for “environmental,” that includes all people, especially the most marginalized.

Matt would like to thank all the groups and people he has worked with for their dedication, competence, ability to accomplish change, and everything they have taught him.


  • Matt worked with the Calgary Climate Action Network and the Alberta Green Economy Network on achieving climate justice by building a grassroots movement in Calgary and Alberta

  • Matt worked on Leadnow campaigns in the leadup to last year’s federal election and on provincial campaigns in early 2015 to help progressive politicians get elected.

  • Matt worked on the fossil fuel Divestment campaign at the University of Victoria.

  • Last year Matt got media coverage (and some yahoos) for walking into the Calgary Stampede Parade with a giant climate justice banner.

  • Matt went to Paris for the climate conference COP21.