Annual Report 2023

Director's Reflections

A year of challenges — but we enthusiastically wave the flag of possibility

In 2023, we continued to focus our efforts towards ambitious climate action, but within the confines of a growing understanding that humanity is facing a convergence of global crises. With the impacts of the climate emergency rising, the increase of social and economic inequalities, the continuous exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation, threats to democracy, a shrinking space for civil society participation in decision making processes, war and violence, human rights violations — 2023 was a challenging year from so many perspectives. 

A systemic analysis of these challenges is driving the climate movement to adapt and change. There is undoubtedly a notable shift in the movement, from calling for siloed environmental and climate policy demands, to focusing on building a holistic and transformative vision for a more just and sustainable world. A vision for people and planet .CAN Europe kicked off 2023 by committing to push this vision further. 

On the EU level, we focused our efforts on the concluding phase of the EU’s important legislative package, “Fit for 55”, to ensure that climate ambition and social justice were moving forward, hand in hand. 2023also saw our continued calls for the 2030 climate target to be overshot. This work spanned several legislative processes where CAN Europe put pressure on the EU to ensure the fair contribution to the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C, and to aim for climate neutrality by 2040. We also advocated in 2023 for bolder efforts and investments to enable a transition towards 100% renewable energy and showcased successful practices and clearly called for an endof fossil fuels. For the first time, CAN Europe also put unprecedented efforts into influencing an EU economic governance and fiscal reform that could really tackle the climate emergency and support the most vulnerable communities.

Within our work in the global CAN network, towards COP28, and as part of the first Global stock take since the adoption of the Paris agreement —A year of challenges — but we enthusiastically wave the flag of possibility CAN Europe contributed to the historical mention of the urgent need to “transition away” from fossil fuels in the outcomes of the COP in Dubai. Such a mention does not match the scale and the emergency of the climate crisis, but represents a launching pad for our struggle towards climate justice to continue, and to focus on ensuring the needed climate finance for a just transition to happen both in Europe and beyond.

2023 was also marked by the adoption of CAN Europe’s Strategy for Change making in Times of Crisis, a guiding compass for the network over the next five years. The document was the result of a rich and participatory process — with CAN Europe members and in dialogue with our main allies. The strategy represents a consolidation of the will for the network to broaden and deepen its vision and mission, to be more aware of the impacts we have as one species within nature, to uphold a clearer vision for social justice and a bolder awareness of Europe’s role in the world and the responsibilities that come with it. Throughout 2023, we witnessed a new wave of global challenges. A range of injustices across the globe. The endless Russian war in Ukraine. An unprecedented escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel following the Hamas attack on 7th October. CAN Europe called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and stands in solidarity with all victims of wars and injustices, whilst calling on the EU to play a critical role towards peace.

We also saw the European political context being dominated by a continuous disinformation campaign that painted climate and energy policies as the cause of inequalities and responsible for the increased cost of living. We enter 2024 therefore, the year of the European elections, with a clearer and louder message than ever: a fossil-free, socially just, and climate neutral European Union is the only way forward. To this message, CAN Europe remains committed to be the anchor in the rough sea of despair — enthusiastically waiving the flag of possibility. – Chiara Martinelli, CAN Europe Director


2023 was a groundbreaking year for CAN Europe, with 21 new members joining the Network. Notably 6 of these members are Ukrainian, a country not previously represented in the organisation. The result of this is that CAN Europe now represents 200 organisations in 40 countries. This is a huge milestone that demonstrates the interest in our Network, the importance of the work that the broader membership is carrying out, as well as the support in wider civil society of CAN Europe’s direction, as outlined in the strategy that was adopted in April 2023. The number of new members requires a great deal of consolidation work to ensure staff and organisations are onboarded successfully into our working structures. This will constitute a key piece of work for CAN Europe in 2024 and beyond.

June 2023 saw CAN Europe organise a EUKI study tour to Brussels, which focused on providing a select group of Central and Eastern European climate and energy experts with a better understanding of relevant EU policy developments, and to share their national perspectives and reflections with key EU stakeholders. During the trip, the group engaged with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) on 2040 climate ambition, the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) and the Recovery and Resilience Task Force about REPowerEU, the International Union of Tenants, the European Trade Union Institute about the benefits of energy savings and renovation of buildings, as well as the European Consumer Organisation, SolarPowerEurope, and Local Governments for Sustainability, about how to speed up renewable energy solutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

In the lead up to COP28, CAN Europe supported four activist labs in Austria, Finland, Lithuania, and Slovakia. These short training programmes enabled CAN Europe members and partners to engage with and train local grassroot groups and activists (such as Fridays for the Future and Extinction Rebellion) in conducting street actions focused on relevant climate issues.

In the second half of the year, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU provided unique engagement opportunities, which included several in-person coordination meetings in Madrid. Direct involvement with members through Presidency events, specifically on the topics of just transition, energy policies, and National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), as well as participation in the informal NGO alliance, created opportunities to try and influence the Presidency priorities. The collaboration with the Spanish Presidency was particularly impactful in the run up to, and during COP28.

Finally, the second season of CAN Europe’s monthly podcast, Europe Climate Connection, was made possible with outstanding input from our member organisations. Over the course of the year a diverse range of issues were covered including sufficiency of nationally determined contributions, carbon inequality, carbon removals, youth engagement and the solar rooftop revolution.


Energy Savings: Less is more

“The energy efficiency target agreed by policymakers does not reflect the current fossil fuel crisis we are living through, the EED became a “paper tiger”” – Verena Bax, Energy Savings

Read More »


Ester Asin

Director of WWF - European Policy Office

Alison Doig


Jérémie Fosse


Josianne Gauthier

Secretary General at CIDSE

Marita Hutjes

Oxfam Novib / Oxfam EU Office

Muratcan Işildak

Head of Board of Genç Düşünce Enstitüsü (Turkey)

Tijana Ljubenović

Member of Young Researchers of Serbia (a member of YEE)

Barbora Urbanová

Centrum pro dopravu a energetiku / Centre for Transport and Energy (CDE)

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele




Chiara Martinelli

Tom Boyle CAN Europe - web

Tom Boyle

Head of Network Development

Lionel Dehalu

Head of Operations
Sven Harmeling CAN Europe - web

Sven Harmeling

Head of Climate
Cornelia Maarfield CAN Europe - web

Cornelia Maarfield

Head of Energy
Head of Communications at CAN Europe

Daniela Pichler

Head of Communications

Administration and Finance


Antoine Cajot

Office and IT Coordinator
César Chantraine - CAN Europe - web

César Chantraine

Human Resources Coordinator
Winfried Hoke

Winfried Hoke

Office & IT Coordinator
Maria Radikov CAN Europe - web

Maria Radikov

Finance and Logistics Coordinator

Clarissa Spencer

Finance & Admin Coordinator


Eleonora Allena CAN Europe - web

Eleonora Allena

Communication Coordinator
Marie-Amelie Brun CAN Europe - web

Marie-Amélie Brun

Communication Coordinator

Cristina Dascalu

Communication Coordinator
Laura Franceschin CAN Europe - web

Laura Franceschin

Communication Officer
James O' Connor - CAN Europe

James O’Connor

Communication Coordinator
jani-profile (1)

Jani Savolainen

Communication Coordinator

Tomas Spragg Nilsson

Senior Communication Coordinator
Nina Tramullas CAN Europe - web

Nina Tramullas

Senior Communication Coordinator

Network Development

Kristina Naunova CAN Europe - web

Kristina Naunova

Network Development & REAL DEAL Project Coordinator
Pablo Sallabera CAN Europe - web

Pablo Sallabera

Mobilisation Consultant

Olivia Saxer

Fundraising & Network Development Coordinator
Samuel Martin Sosa CAN Europe - web

Samuel Martin-Sosa

Senior Network Development Coordinator

Kasia Ugryn

Senior Network Development Coordinator

Climate Policy


Ulriikka Aarnior

Senior Climate & Land Use Policy Coordinato

Ari Bartra

Climate Policy Intern
Brigitta Bozsò CAN Europe - web

Brigitta Bozso

Climate Policy Coordinator

Erich Castro Dias

Land Use & Carbon Dioxide Removal Policy Officer
Romain Didi CAN Europe - web

Romain Didi

Climate Governance & Human Rights Policy Coordinator
Joe Inwood CAN Europe - web

Joe Inwood

EU Elections Campaign Officer
Federico Mascolo CAN Europe - web

Federico Mascolo

Together for 1.5 Project Policy Coordinator
Giulia Nardi - CAN Europe web

Giulia Nardi

Climate & Energy Policy Officer
Silvia Valentini

Silvia Valentini

Climate Policy Officer

Energy Policy

Marta ANCZEWSKA CAN Europe - web

Marta Anczewska

Energy Policy Coordinator
Verena Bax CAN Europe - web

Verena Bax

Energy Savings Policy Coordinator
Esther Bollendorf CAN Europe - web

Esther Bollendorff

Senior Gas Policy Coordinator
Eva Brardinelli CAN Europe - web

Eva Brardinelli

Buildings Policy Coordinator
Joni Karjalainen CAN Europe - web

Joni Karjalainen

Energy Transition Analyst
Thomas Lewis

Thomas Lewis

Energy Policy Coordinator
Seda Orhan CAN Europe - web

Seda Orhan

Renewable Energy Campaign Coordinator
Dimitris Tsekeris CAN Europe - web

Dimitris Tsekeris

Energy Scenarios Project Manager
Monica Vidal CAN Europe - web

Monica Vidal

Heating Campaign Coordinator
Flora Witkowski CAN Europe - web

Flora Witkowski

Gas Policy Officer

Europe in Transition Policy

Frosina Antonovska CAN Europe - web

Frosina Antonovska

Climate & Energy Policy Officer for Western Balkans
Elif Cansu

Elif Cansu Ilhan

Policy Officer For Turkey

Özlem Katisoz

Senior Policy Coordinator for Turkey

Finance and International Trade Policy

Isabelle Brachet CAN Europe - web

Isabelle Brachet

Fiscal Reform Policy Coordinator

Audrey Changoe

Trade & Investment Policy Coordinator

Jennifer Kwao

Trade & Corporate Accountability Campaign Officer
Rachel Simon CAN Europe - web

Rachel Simon

International Finance & Development Policy Coordinator
Olivier Vardakoulias CAN Europe - web

Olivier Vardakoulias

Finance & Subsidies Policy Coordinator

Production and Consumption

Doreen Fedrigo CAN Europe - web 180

Doreen Fedrigo

Industrial Transformation Policy Coordinator
Boris Jankowiak CAN Europe - web

Boris Jankowiak

Steel Transformation Policy Coordinator

Agata Meysner

Eu Sustainable Consumption & Lifestyles Project Coordinator

We also gratefully thank the following staff members that helped us implement our work in 2023, but have since left us:

Doruntina Basha

Viktor Berishaj

Anuna De Wever

Veerle Dossche

Elif Gündüzyeli

Adam Leckius

Masha Perovic

Theodora Petroula

Pascual Polo

Eliot Primault

Klaus Röhrig

Reinhilde Stinders