Young Climate Professionals Explore Justness of Energy Transition in Virtual Workshop
At the beginning of February, our Croatian partner Znanje na djelu hosted a virtual workshop, which focused on exploring the question of how just energy transition and sustainability are. To guide our discussions, we invited two expert speakers, Dražen Šimleša and Nina Pušić. Dražen, a scientist and researcher at the Institute of Social Science Ivo Pilar in Croatia, discussed the current state of (un)sustainability in the world and proposed three prospective solutions: individual, collective (community-driven), and public policy-based. Nina, a climate action strategist at Oil Change International, explained the relationship between energy consumption and climate change and shared good practices for the energy transition. The talks led to a productive Q&A session with the participating Young Climate Professionals (YCPs) from a dozen European countries.
In the second part of the workshop, the YCPs discussed the different levels on which sustainability can be approached within their countries, including the individual, corporate, and policy levels. They also presented the current state of their project proposals to their peers in small working groups and received feedback and support to overcome obstacles in their project development process. As a reminder, YCP is a programme offered by THE CIVICS that seeks to enhance the capacities of young people from across Europe in their efforts to combat climate change. The YCPs will have a few more weeks to finalize their proposals before presenting them at the YCP Campus in Berlin in March. We are excited to meet all participants in person next month and see their inspiring projects to combat climate change in their local communities.
Dražen Šimleša, PhD at Institute of Social Science Ivo Pilar
serves as a senior scientific associate at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb, where he specializes in social and solidarity economy, sustainability, and permaculture. With eight published books and numerous scientific papers, he is an accomplished author and researcher in his field. His latest book, “Public Policies for Social and Solidarity Economy – Manual for Cities,” was published in 2021. Dr. Šimleša also teaches the “Global Society and Sustainable Development” course at Peace Studies and is an active volunteer and coordinator for several organizations, including the Green Network of Activist Groups (ZMAG) and the Cooperative for a Good Economy. As the General Coordinator of the Solidarity Economy Network – RIPESS Europe, he works to promote and develop sustainable economic models across the continent.
Nina Pušić, Export Finance Climate Action Strategist, Oil Change International
Nina is a seasoned climate policy professional with extensive experience in international climate action. She has previously worked as a consultant at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, where she collaborated with a diverse range of stakeholders, including climate scientists, indigenous and local communities leaders, civil society, and government officials, to improve the implementation of international climate goals in both mitigation and adaptation. Currently, Nina is employed with Oil Change International, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on research and advocacy for public finance actors to meet their Paris Agreement goals through financing a just transition to renewable energy systems, away from fossil fuels. In her role, she engages with governments at the OECD level to advocate for ending government subsidies for fossil fuels. Nina holds an LLM in Environmental and Climate Change Law and an MA in Sustainable Development from the University of Edinburgh.