An expert on energy efficiency and renewable energy and passionate about combating climate change and enhancing public participation, Illia has worked tirelessly to accumulate a diverse and abundant range of experiences among various NGOs in the Ukraine. Involved in the NGO Ecoclub since 2010, he has been responsible for analyzing energy performance of public facilities, organising tours, summer camps and other events for environmental activists, and attending the international climate negotiations COP22, COP23 and COP24. For the last four years, he has led the Ukrainian Climate Network, successfully expanding its funding, developed new strategies and augmenting the size of the network, now 33 organisations-strong. As national coordinator of the CLEEN (www.cleenet.org) project, which works on improving energy services and transparency in the sector for over half a million people, he helped to provide training, mentorship and financial assistance to eight local CSOs. Throughout this time, he has built up an impressive knowledge of energy issues, energy policy, advocacy and CSO management.
Illia used the JWHI grant to fund an internship with a Berlin-based NGO called DRA, where, in addition to supporting their work, including developing a project proposal to support Ukranean energy cooperatives, he developed a greater understanding of the workings and perspectives of a Western-European NGO. In addition to taking a German language course, he capitalised on his time in Berlin to proactively set up meetings with nearly a dozen other prominent German NGOs and government ministries. Not only did this expand his personal network and allow him to share his own ideas for new projects, but it helped to broaden his understanding of climate and energy policy from the German perspective. The grant therefore enabled him to adopt a more international outlook with regards to energy transition worldwide and civil society.