The National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts' Big Green Challenge competition has awarded each of the finalists £20,000 to get their projects up and running over the next year.
The best project will receive £1m, although the prize money will be shared if more than one project is judged to be deserving of an award.
The shortlisted projects have a year to slash carbon emissions in their local communities.
Nesta launched the competition because it believes that initiatives set up to combat climate change are too heavily focused on science and technology, and should also explore whether individuals and community groups hold the answers.
The shortlisted projects are:
- Back 2 Earth, Hackney, London
- Community Sustainability Trust, Oxford
- Faith and Climate Change in Birmingham, Birmingham
- The Green School Bus, Lytham
- Household Energy Services, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire
- Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Isle of Eigg, Scotland
- Global Generation, Kentish Town, London
- Meadows Ozone Green Loans, Nottingham
- The Three Green Valleys, Brecon, Wales
- Used Cooking Oil Alliance, Arundel, Sussex
Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of Nesta, said: "The fact that we had more than 350 communities submitting strong ideas demonstrates there is the passion and knowledge across the UK to devise imaginative responses to climate change.
"The scale of the problem means that the development of new technology in itself will not be enough - the full range of innovation in response to climate change is not currently being utilised. We need individuals and communities to commit to changing the way we live and work."