One of the many advantages of being a climate organizer is meeting so many people determined to making positive changes in society. The week that I spent with the Russian Global Power Shift team in Moscow allowed us not only to meet some incredible activists but also to see how the whole nation can look like when the movement succeeds.

Russian powershifters’ meeting:

We saw that the future is full of a variety of local people-led projects that cut emissions and make life easier and healthier. Today, the pioneering citizen-organized initiatives already started to appear all over Moscow and some of the largest Russian cities. In the future, small renewable energy units, social enterprises and self-organized universities will be everyday reality in every region. People will be the real makers of their cities and towns. Everyone will work for the common good and it will be hard to tell where one initiative ends and the other starts. Hundreds and thousands of positive grassroots projects will merge together in a movement for ‘a kind of Russia where one wants to live’. The last quote actually belongs to one of the participants of the social movements workshop that we held in Moscow last week.

We saw the future of Russian industry – efficient, competitive and free from fossil fuels dependency. Today, the new master’s programs on green economy and eco-urbanism are starting at Moscow universities and think-tanks show the real costs of such risky projects as Arctic drilling. There are more and more people in Russia who want to see the country developing a new kind of economy, based on innovations.

We saw that in the future Russian people will be empowered to take personal responsibility about their lives and their country. During this week we met and heard about so many who do not agree to be passive observers. Courageous women and men make real steps to solve some of the burning social issues, building power within themselves and in others. In the future as we want it to be, no one will blame the circumstances. On the contrary, people will feel strong enough to imagine the world differently and make it happen. The notion of people power was central to many of the discussions we held this week and I’m keen to see how more and more of Russians understand and use their power for good.

With the Global Power Shift campaign and beyond Russian activists will make this beautiful vision real. Climate activists are now taking the next step towards this shared future. They are moving their focus from awareness to involvement and empowerment of people all over the country. They are building a climate community, open for everyone. They work hard to design a campaign which will serve those goals. Together, they will change the perception of what’s possible in Russia and shift the power.


On we go!

Yuliya and GPS Russia