Last week, the 350 team in Eastern Europe gathered in Mykolaiv in Ukraine to attend the first session of their climate leadership programme. This year’s theme is ”Activate Energy – 2019”. Over 20 participants from 9 groups from all over Ukraine joined the trainings and inspiration was running high!

The four days of training were intense: meeting each other, diving into the climate change and renewable energy topics, sharing everyone’s campaign stories and multiple questions and answers to them. After the bright sun on the first day, we also got into a blizzard, which was a good moment to look at the city’s adaptation (or lack thereof) to extreme weather.

Activists from ten cities attended the first introductory training session, where they learned how to carry out information and advocacy campaigns and implement their own projects in cities that will move communities closer to 100% renewable energy.

The main topics at the training session were climate change in cities, the work of the international climate movement in Ukraine, the achievement of a just transition to 100% renewable energy in cities, the skills needed to carry out public campaigns, and tips on successfully putting together a public initiative team.  There is so much more to learn and to do, but we are ready to move towards our goal with confidence. Interesting and challenging work is ahead of us: for the next eight months we will work together on the groups’ campaigns to get their cities to transition to 100% renewable energy.

We are inspired to see both new and experienced cities among this year’s participants in the Activate Energy program: Kremenchuk, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Lviv, Cherkasy, Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi, and Kyiv. Activists created nine new and ambitious groups of their own. The team in Ukraine is hoping that every participant from these cities will soon create their own successful campaign to make their cities climate neutral.

Maxym Mykhailyk, a participant of the training session in Mykolaiv, explains why he took part in the Activate Energy program:

“In September 2018, Lviv signed a memorandum with Ukraine on the city’s gradual transition to 100% renewable energy. In order to achieve this goal more quickly, we are doing everything we can to develop our climate activism. By working together to implement an energy transformation, we will change the situation in Lviv rather than the climate.”

The Activate Energy 2019 program is a series of webinars, educational meetings, mentoring sessions and mini-grants for local environmental organisations from all over Ukraine. We will enhance new resources, and train and develop environmental initiatives from different parts of Ukraine to speed up the just energy transition to 100% renewable energy in every Ukrainian city.

We are strengthening the grassroots movement in cities!

Will your city be next?

Photo: Julia Pashkovska

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