2013 has already kicked off as we hope to continue in Europe. Alongside a huge amount of excitement for Global Power Shift (GPS) across the continent and sweet plans shaping up to confront the fossil fuel industry, we’ve had two new fabulous recruits to help us make our ideas a reality. As Yuliya Makliuk continues to organise and help build the climate movement in the Russian speaking world, Tim Ratcliffe based in Berlin and Nicolò Wojewoda in London are joining us as European campaigners to help share and develop the stories of both climate change itself and your activities as part of the movement. More introductions below!
This has given me more energy than ever, knowing I have both a rock-star team to collaborate with, combined with this ever-inspiring network of climate organisers like you fighting the good fight. Here’s to fantastic year ahead!
Emma Biermann, European Coordinator
Yuliya Makliuk, from Ukraine
Russian Speaking World Coordinator
My involvement in the climate movement started in 2008 with the British Council project ‘Challenge Europe’. Since then, together with my fantastic friends, we launched the Informational Center on Climate Change; participated in United Nations meetings; and held dozens of actions, trainings, and strategic sessions. Finally, last year we created the Ukrainian Youth Climate Association.
I’m proud to be part of the 350.org team and work on communications and strategy with @ leaders across Eastern Europe, Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia. Olga Monchak – a current head of UYCA – has joined us recently to help with communications while I also study. Our current plans are focused on GPS and national campaigns, like Take and Make in Ukraine and regional Power Shifts in Central Asia.
Nicolò Wojewoda, from Italy
I come to 350.org after having coordinated a global youth mobilization towards last year’s UN summit on sustainable development, and a short stint for a UK charity working on democratic governance. Through those experiences I learned that: (1) international efforts to stop climate change rarely go beyond the minimum common denominator, and (2) the interests of few, instead of those of many, have disproportionate influence on the way our governments make decisions to tackle the climate crisis.
I look forward to building a European climate movement that raises that common denominator and redesigns those power structures once and for all!
Tim Ratcliffe, from the UK
Joining 350 and the growing international climate movement at this time is really exciting. Like last minute revision before an exam, or a run from the house to make the bus, there is an urgency and energy like never before. Our time to act is now. It feels like, across the planet, something is awakening from a deep sleep and rising with renewed energy to take on the fossil fuel beast.
Over the last few years I’ve been practicing various forms of creative intervention with art collectives such as Liberate Tate and on projects with NGO’s such as Greenpeace and Platform in London. From gallery based guerilla art, to mass street protests my interest lies in the creative use of public and private space to challenge the status quo.
I became politically active when I began to campaign for young people to be involved in the decisions made about or for them, whether that was to do with education, human rights or public transport. Quickly I realised that climate change is one of the most urgent issues as part of this list, facing us today and future generations. I also realised we have very little say or control in limiting global warming, so it was time to do something about it. And I realised I wasn’t alone.
Since then I’ve had the joys, the challenges, the excitement, the tears, the stress, and the privileges to be working as part of a vibrant and passionate climate movement which stands for a more fair and livable world for all. Right now, as part of 350, this is exactly where I want to be.