After nearly 10 years at the helm of Climate Outreach, our Executive Director Jamie Clarke has decided it’s the right time to step down and take on new challenges. Our entire team is incredibly grateful for Jamie’s inspirational leadership and we look forward to collaborating with him in future – we’re as dedicated as ever to continuing to drive public engagement with climate change. Our chairperson Camilla Born reflects on Jamie’s tenure, how much our organisation has grown in the past decade, and where we’re going.
The climate change landscape has changed immensely since Jamie Clarke took the helm of Climate Outreach almost a decade ago. Back then, the primary concern was tackling climate change ‘deniers’ who had polarised the climate change debate, stifling public engagement. Today, in no small part thanks to Jamie’s leadership, the conversation has moved on and is firmly focused on navigating public engagement in our ongoing low carbon resilient transition, as well as the process of coming to terms with already locked-in climate change.
Jamie grew the organisation from its foundations in local capacity-building in the UK, to a diverse, international organisation. We deliver cutting-edge evidence and capacity-building to people and organisations communicating about climate change. We are proud of our people-centred approach to research and engagement – working with people living in Canadian mining towns; people from all walks of life in the UK; or smallholder farmers in countries on the frontlines of climate impacts, like Egypt, Mauritania and Tunisia. Moving beyond the ‘green bubble’ has been central to all of our work. We pride ourselves on listening and understanding to people’s needs and perspectives, to help champion narratives and approaches that unify rather than divide.
But there are headwinds to contend with. As we move into our next chapter, our work on overcoming political polarisation on climate is more important than ever. There is a risk people feel disenfranchised by the vision of our net zero future. And it is in this context we are committed to providing evidence to civil society, governments and businesses to support their engagement with people on climate change. Effective engagement means ensuring different people – regardless of their values or identity – feel heard in the climate transition. It’s important people know how to take the action that makes sense in their lives and their work, and that they hold decision-makers to account in achieving a fair transition to a 1.5 degree world.
We are very grateful to Jamie for the organisation he leaves behind, one that is ready to take on the challenges the future will present. As Jamie steps down, we’re very grateful to welcome Director of Operations Noora Firaq as Interim Executive Director, and are in the process of recruiting a new Executive Director. Here’s to a new chapter for Climate Outreach – and thank you Jamie from the entire team!
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