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Igniting change: highlights from our Rome Training

As the passionate discussions and enthusiastic networking of the 56th Climate Reality Leadership Training concluded, we are proud to leave behind a community enriched in knowledge and more connected in purpose. Our event successfully gathered over a thousand participants from across Europe, especially from the Southern regions most impacted by climate change.

(from the left: Jessica Besch, Program & Engagement Manager, welcoming participants | Participant receiving their badge | Participants engaged in a discussion moment)

A Convergence of Minds

Our carefully planned training spanned three intense days filled with learning, sharing, and strategizing. Through dynamic panel discussions and practical workshops facilitated by experts and advocates, we provided attendees with valuable insights into such relevant areas as the science of climate change, the importance of just energy transition, examples of municipal climate action, ideas on fighting fast fashion, and dangers of greenwashing.

(from the left: Participants engaged in a discussion moment | Arjun SriHari, Training Mentor, talking to his mentees | Participants listening to a presentation)

The sessions were led by experts in their respective fields, many of whom represented our Training Partners: A Sud, C40 Cities, Climate KIC, ECCO Think tank, Greenpeace, Global Shapers, Italian Climate Network, Laudato Si' Movement, Legamiente, RECommon, Stati Generali dell-Azione per il Clima, Urgewald, and WWF. One of the key highlights of the Training was the 2-hour long presentation on climate science, impacts, and solutions by Al Gore, which participants found particularly informative, engaging, and eye-opening.

(from the left: Matteo Ward talking about fighting fast fashion | Gosia Rychlik, Branch Manager, presenting the Branch Staff | Antonio Tricario presenting the work of ReCommon in Italy | Alvaro Rodriguez and Ilaria Quotta, CRLs in a panel with Al Gore)

Moments of Action

One of the most electrifying moments of our training was the collective action targeting Eni, Italy's largest fossil fuel company. We facilitated a photo moment with a protest banner signed by a few hundred people, enabling participants to declare their opposition to fossil fuels and commitment to climate justice. Furthermore, we mobilized the signing and sending of over 600 letters to newly elected Members of the European Parliament, calling for keeping climate action as a priority despite the challenging socio-economic context. The letter outlined three key demands: reaching net zero by 2040, increasing finance for decarbonization, and for the EU's Nationally Determined Contribution to be aligned with the Paris Agreement's objective of keeping a 1.5C temperature increase by the end of this century.

(from the left: Klara Butz and Katrin Ganswindt from Urgewald leading a session on climate finance | Participant signing a letter to the European Parliament Member | A group of Climate Reality Leaders in front of Eni headquarters)

Awards and Recognitions

A highlight of our event was the presentation of the Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award to Dr. Paola Fiore, in recognition of her enduring commitment to The Climate Reality Project and its network in Italy. Her dedication demonstrates the impact that well-informed and passionately committed individuals can have on their communities and beyond.

The Path Forward

As our attendees return to their respective corners of the world, they carry not only the memories of a transformative experience but also the tools and connections necessary to implement real change. Although the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Rome has concluded, the journey for its participants is just beginning.

We remain dedicated to supporting Climate Reality Leaders as they apply what they've learned and begin to influence change locally and globally. Our work continues as we prepare for future initiatives to further empower our European, and global, network of climate advocates in our key four areas: Emissions Reduction, Financing a Just Transition, Combating Greenwashing, and International Cooperation on Climate.

This post reflects our pride and commitment as organizers to fostering a movement that not only educates but also empowers individuals to become active agents of change in the fight against climate change.

The Climate Reality Project Europe Team

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