The UK is the second-largest oil and gas producer in Europe. Planned global oil and gas production will take us far past the climate limits that are safe for our society. At the same time, clean, affordable and abundant alternatives to fossil fuels continue to race ahead. We can and must be ambitious about moving past oil and gas production, while empowering and supporting workers and communities who rely on the industry for their livelihoods.
Uplift’s mission is to support and energise the movement for a just and fossil fuel-free UK. We strategically resource, connect, and elevate ideas and voices to set in motion a just transition away from fossil fuel production that is commensurate with the scale of the climate crisis. We put equity and justice at the heart of everything we do.
WHO WE ARE
Uplift has a small core team with partners across the UK. We are hosted by the Social Change Nest and supported by our Steering Group.
Ashlee is a researcher with a background in social and climate justice. She comes to Uplift from the Office for National Statistics where she worked as a Senior Equalities Analyst. Here she developed expertise in leading analysis and filling evidence gaps, informing government policy and public debate and improving the evidence base for understanding equity and fairness in the UK. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainability and Ecology at the Centre for Alternative Technology, and holds a BSc in Mathematics from Swansea University.
Simran is an expert in digital communications with experience across a wide range of roles in the social justice sector. He has a track record of delivering highly engaging campaigns for some of the UK’s most progressive social justice and environmental organisations. After leading a major advertising operation for the 2019 General Election, Simran went on to work as the Digital Fundraising Manager at ClientEarth where he used his skills in political communications to drive people into action to save the climate.
Public Affairs Manager
Gwen has spent her career to date working to create positive social and environmental change. Prior to joining Uplift, she worked as a Senior Policy Adviser at the leading environmental think-tank Green Alliance. There she worked in the politics team and coordinated Green Alliance’s Climate Leadership Programme for MPs, engaging cross-party MPs on climate change science and policy. She also led Green Alliance’s work on trade and environment, supporting the work of the Greener UK coalition. Previously she worked at the Green Party of England and Wales, as well as with an MEP in the European Parliament in Brussels. Gwen has published work on the use of citizens’ assemblies in climate policy making, and has appeared in national media commenting on climate and trade. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science from Plymouth University.
Strategic Communications Advisor
Tamasin is a writer and campaigner with a particular focus on corporate lobbying. For a decade she worked with Spinwatch, a non-profit that investigates corporate PR and lobbying, and led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists in the UK. She is co-author of A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain (Vintage, 2015), and has conducted investigations into the influence on public policy of companies, lobbyists, think tanks and management consultants that have featured in the UK print and broadcast media.
Research and Policy Analyst
Brook is a researcher, policy advisor, and climate justice campaigner. She previously acted as a researcher and legal advisor supporting the Least Developed Countries Group at the UN climate change negotiations, and on the Least Developed Countries Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative. Most recently, Brook completed a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She also holds degrees in Law and Science from the University of Tasmania.
Head of Campaigns and Communications
Gabriel is a climate justice campaigner and activist with over nine years experience in public mobilisation, coalition coordination, creative content development, and digital campaign strategy. Before joining Uplift, Gabriel worked as Europe Campaign Lead for the Purpose Climate Lab, where he led campaigns in the United Kingdom, Poland, Bulgaria and France fighting for just climate solutions. He’s active in grassroots groups working towards fossil fuel divestment and organising for a Green New Deal. Prior to the Purpose Climate Lab, Gabriel co-founded an ethical coffee importing company that supported coffee growers in Ethiopia and Nicaragua. He holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Latin America Studies and Environmental Studies from New York University.
Holly is a PR specialist and author who has spent much of her career writing books that educate the younger generation on the climate crisis and the various environmental issues that our planet faces. She worked as a PR manager in publishing before making the move to the non-profit sector. Most recently, she has worked as a volunteer for a community sponsorship programme that raises funds to settle refugee families in the North East.
Astrid started her career in the Netherlands, where she worked in various management roles. On moving to the UK over 25 years ago, she worked firstly in education and subsequently with charitable organisations and NGOs as Operations Manager. Most recently she worked as Operations Manager for the Climate Litigation Network, a project of Urgenda. She is experienced in line-management, project management, risk management and change management. Astrid has Masters degrees in Digital Media and Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.
Digital Content Producer
Oliver is a digital creative and campaigner, with extensive experience in communications, marketing, campaign strategy and digital content production. Before joining Uplift, Oliver produced digital campaigns and design at the Co-operative Party while working as a freelance content creator with climate justice groups. Oliver holds an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Julia is an activist with extensive experience in communications, project management, content creation and large-scale mobilisations. She has been a key organiser in a number of grassroots campaigns across a range of social justice issues including feminism, anti-racism, global justice, divestment and labour movement campaigns. Most recently she worked as the Communications and Digital Engagement Officer for the COP26 Coalition.
Head of Research and Policy
Daniel is an impact-driven campaigner and researcher. Most recently he led campaigns on the finance behind the food system at the campaigning group Feedback and worked for King’s College London on an international partnership working to increase access to Higher Education for refugees. Prior to these roles, Daniel worked in Madagascar, Denmark, Mozambique, and Scotland on a diverse range of social and climate justice issues. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in the contested environmental politics of energy transitions and is the son of an oil rig worker.
Founder and Executive Director
Tessa is an international climate change and human rights lawyer, campaigner and strategist. Before founding Uplift, she was co-founder and Co-Director of the Climate Litigation Network, a project of the Urgenda Foundation, which supports groundbreaking strategic climate litigation around the world. She has spent more than fifteen years supporting grassroots, regional and international movements for justice and has served as an expert advisor to UN human rights bodies and national governments, while working in Thailand, Egypt, India, the US, the Netherlands and Australia. Tessa is a trustee of Global Greengrants Fund UK and a member of the Steering Committee of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. Her writing has been published in international media outlets and academic publications, and she has been invited to speak at the United Nations and events convened by The Economist, Wall Street Journal and TEDx. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford (BCL(Dist)) and University of Western Australia (LLB(Hons)/BA). In 2019, Tessa was named by TIME magazine as one of fifteen women leading the fight against climate change. She is also an awardee of the Climate Breakthrough Project.
Lauren is a climate justice campaigner, activist and spokesperson. She has a track record of high-profile public speaking and has coordinated large-scale mobilisations and campaigns. Most notably, she confronted Shell CEO Ben van Beurden about his role in the climate crisis. She has spoken at the UN, TED Countdown, and to an array of leading media publications both at a national and international level, including the Los Angeles Times, BBC News, and Financial Times. Lauren is also an experienced community organiser, with several years of experience campaigning at a grassroots level on many issues intersecting with climate justice.
Oceans and Climate Network Coordinator
Emer has worked as an organiser, co-ordinator, artist and researcher with UK communities facing the brunt of inequalities across housing, climate and labour struggles. She cut her teeth in grassroots housing organising, developing strategic coalitions of London housing groups and holds a LLM in Human Rights Law. Emer worked with Participation and Practice Of Rights (PPR) using HR based campaigning with young people and families in Belfast. Her recent focus has been the fishing industry and fishing communities on the UK’s east coast. Emer is staunchly committed to a just transition from oil and gas production that supports workers, communities and stakeholders. She is based in Scotland and a boat in London.
Neo is an energetic and persistent advocate for fossil fuel phase-out and just transition. She is a core member of Uplift’s campaign team and has spent many months observing and commenting on the development of climate justice strategies. Neo was enrolled in (although noticeably has not yet graduated from) Hackney Hounds and is a widely-respected connoisseur of frozen carrots. She is definitely not related to the oil & gas company operating in the North Sea of the same name.
Campaign Manager, Warm This Winter
Mia is a climate campaigner with a focus on fossil fuels and finance. Before joining Uplift, Mia worked at Market Forces where she campaigned on the private financiers behind major fossil fuel projects in Australia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Prior to that, she worked on the finance behind the food system at Feedback. Mia also sits on the board of the financial campaigning NGO BankTrack.
Head of Movement Building
Fiona is a climate and social justice activist and campaigner. She comes to Uplift from Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) where, as an Activism Advisor, she designed mobilising and organising strategies for campaigns from fracking to divestment to COP26. She previously worked on a range of issues from aid effectiveness to election organising to human trafficking. As an activist she’s organised with a number of grassroots climate justice networks across the UK, including planning protest camps opposing coal, fracking and the hostile environment. Fiona holds an MA in Human Rights from the School of Advanced Study, London.
Lola is a young climate campaigner. She is heavily involved with the UK Student Climate Network, the grassroots network which hosts the youth climate strikes in the UK. Her role with the network has seen her involvement in the organisation and delivery of Britain’s largest climate protests in history, as well as several educational projects and collaborative actions with groups such as Greenpeace and Green New Deal UK. Her work is centred around promoting an anti-racist vision of climate justice. You can contact her on Instagram @lola.fayokun and on Twitter @femlxla.
Harpreet Kaur Paul
Harpreet is a human rights lawyer and PhD candidate at the University of Warwick’s Law School, where her research focuses on climate justice. After qualifying as a solicitor in 2010, she worked for NGOs, including Amnesty International, REDRESS, and People & Planet. More recently, she was a key contributor to Civil Society Review’s 2019 report “Can Climate Change Fuelled Loss And Damage Ever Be Fair?” and lead author of the April 2019 ActionAid report on financing options for loss and damage. You can follow her on Twitter @HarpreetKPaul.
Adam is a writer and campaigner. He is currently the lead campaigner for Market Forces UK, an organization tackling British banks funding the climate crisis. He led the three-year coalition campaign that forced the British Government to end its financing of fossil fuel projects overseas, and previously worked as a campaign director electing climate-friendly politicians. His writing has been published in The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesman and elsewhere.
Laurie van der Burg
Laurie is a Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International, where she focuses on getting governments and public finance institutions to plan for and support a just and managed phase-out of oil and gas production. Before joining OCI, Laurie worked at Friends of the Earth Netherlands where she led a climate court case against Shell, filed on behalf of over 17000 people. Prior to that she worked with the Overseas Development Institute as a climate and energy researcher focusing on fossil fuel subsidy reform and energy access. Laurie got her start in climate activism as a student as a board member of Students for Sustainability Amsterdam. Laurie holds an LLM in Environmental and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh and a Bsc in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Amsterdam University College. She lives between Amsterdam and Brussels.